In Pierce v. Western Surety Co., ___ Cal.App.4th ___ (Jun. 22, 2012), the Court of Appeal (Fifth Appellate District) addressed the CLRA and its attorneys' fees provision in the context of evaluating the scope of a surety's liability for acts of its principal. Slip op. at 8-10.
The Court of Appeal summarized its opinion:
In sum, [Vehicle Code] section 11711 does not provide for attorney fees. Therefore, attorney fees are not recoverable based on that section. However, a surety that issues a bond pursuant to section 11711 is subject to general surety law. Under Civil Code section 2808, a surety’s liability is commensurate with that of the principal within the express terms of the bond and any applicable statutes. Thus, if the principal would have been liable for attorney fees based on conduct secured by the bond, the surety is liable for such fees.
Slip op. at 10. Because the principal would have been liable for attorneys' fees under the CLRA, the surety was similarly "liable for such fees." See id.