Saturday, May 9, 2009

Prejudgment Interest on Fees and Costs Begins on Date of Entitlement

In Lorillard Tobacco Company v. French (3D08-1525) the Third DCA held "plaintiff’s counsel became “entitled” to the fees and costs as of the date the plaintiff obtained a judgment substantially higher than 125% of her written settlement offer, we affirm."

The holding speaks for itself, however, the facts are worth mentioning.

"The plaintiff was one of several thousand flight attendants who sued tobacco companies for second-hand exposure to smoke. On November 13, 2000, Ms. French’s attorney tendered an offer of judgment to settle her claim for $2,676. Lorillard did not accept the offer. At trial of the case in 2002, a jury awarded Ms. French $5,500,000. On September 24, 2002, the court granted a motion for remittitur and entered an amended final judgment in the amount of $500,000."


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