July 21, 2019

Colorado Supreme Court: Prejudgment Interest Applies in Garnishment Proceedings

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Thompson v. Catlin Insurance Co. on Monday, December 10, 2018.

Appellate Mandate—Garnishment—Prejudgment Interest.
At issue in this garnishment proceeding was the amount of insurance proceeds owed to petitioners. The court of appeals grappled with the amount of this debt on four separate occasions. In Thompson v. United Securities Alliance Inc. (Thompson IV), 2016 COA 128 ¶ 27, __P.3d __, a division of the court of appeals upheld the district court’s determination of attorney fees and costs that the insurance company may deduct from the liability limit under its policy. It is this decision in Thompson IV about fees and costs that the supreme court reviewed here. First, it addressed whether the Thompson IV division erred when it upheld the district court’s decision to consider new evidence on remand from Thompson v. United Securities Alliance, Inc. (Thompson III), No. 13CA2037 (Colo. App. Oct. 16, 2014). Because the Thompson IV division reasonably construed the mandate issued by the Thompson III division, the supreme court perceived no error. Second, it addressed whether the Thompson IV division erred when it held that petitioners are not entitled to prejudgment interest in a garnishment proceeding. The court concluded that the division erred. Petitioners are entitled to prejudgment interest under C.R.S. § 5-12-102. Accordingly, as to the first issue, the court of appeals’ judgment was affirmed. As to the second, it was reversed.

Summary provided courtesy of Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Supreme Court: Plaintiff Not Entitled to Prejudgment Interest Where Claim Does Not Meet Statutory Factors

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Munoz v. American Family Mutual Insurance Co. on Monday, September 10, 2018.

Prejudgment Interest—Statutory Interpretation.

In this case, the Colorado Supreme Court considered whether an insured is entitled to collect prejudgment interest when he settles an uninsured motorist claim with his insurer. The court held that, under the plain language of the prejudgment interest statute, C.R.S. § 13-21-101, an insured is entitled to prejudgment interest only after (1) an action is brought, (2) the plaintiff claims damages and interest in the complaint, (3) there is a finding of damages by a jury or court, and (4) judgment is entered. Because Munoz did not meet all of these conditions, the court concluded he is not entitled to prejudgment interest.

Summary provided courtesy of Colorado Lawyer.