Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 1343.03(C)(2) provides that prejudgment interest shall not be awarded on future damages found by the trier of fact.
Plaintiff driver alleged that he fell from the cab of his truck when the defendant employee began to tow the truck and was injured as a result. Plaintiff sued for negligence. The jury assessed 75% comparative fault to defendants and 25% comparative fault to the driver. The district court awarded prejudgment interest under Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 1343.03(C)(1) (2009) based on the insurer's failure to make a good faith effort to settle. Additional appellants, the company's insurer and its attorneys, appealed an award of prejudgment interest. The driver cross-appealed the interest award. The district court's judgment was affirmed.
Was pre-judgment interest properly awarded?
The court of appeals held that prejudgment interest was properly awarded under § 1343.03(C)(1) in light of the insurer's refusal to increase its settlement authority above $100,000. Under § 1343.03(C)(2), interest was properly awarded on medical and wage losses and was properly denied on non-economic loss, which represented future damages. The purposes of pre-judgment interest are to promote settlement efforts, prevent tortfeasors from delaying the ultimate resolution of cases, conserve resources, promote judicial economy, and compensate the plaintiff for the defendant's use of money which rightfully belonged to the plaintiff