In Shoemaker v. Sliger, No. 5D14-3871, 2016 WL 542861, at *1 (Fla. 5th DCA Feb. 12, 2016), a jury found in favor of the plaintiff in a wrongful death case. One party appealed and the appeal resulted in a per curiam affirmance. On remand, the trial court entered an amended judgment awarding interest from the date of the verdict. The defendant objected and sought relief again from the appellate court.
On appeal, the Fifth District explained that “when a jury trial concludes without the entry of a money judgment, and an appeal is taken that results in the appellate court reversing and remanding for entry of a money judgment, rule 9.340(c) sets the post-trial interest accrual date as the date of the verdict.” This often applies in cases where the trial court ordered remittitur or additur, resulting in a new trial. In these cases, there is no judgment to return to on remand.
Notably, this rule is not applicable where the trial court originally entered a money judgment and only the amount of the judgment is modified on appeal. For instance, if the trial court refuses to apply the owner’s liability statutory cap and holds the owner liable for the full jury verdict. On remand, the amount of the judgment against the owner would be modified to reflect the statutory cap.
In other words, where a judgment was entered prior to appeal, a party is not entitled to post-verdict, pre-judgment interest.
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Kansas R. Gooden
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Appellate Practice Group Leader