Sunday, December 1, 2013

Douthwright v. Northeast Corridor Foundations case brief

Douthwright v. Northeast Corridor Foundations case brief summary
805 A.2d 157 (2002)

Plaintiff injured party sued defendants, a consortium of construction companies and others, alleging negligence. The parties settled the action, but the injured party moved for a default judgment when full payment was not received. The consortium paid the amount remaining, but refused to pay interest on that amount. The Superior Court, judicial district of New London at Norwich (Connecticut), awarded interest, and the consortium appealed.

A worker was injured when concrete pylons fell on his leg, and he filed a lawsuit against a consortium of construction companies, another worker, and a pipe corporation. The parties agreed to settle the lawsuit for $ 3.2 million, and the consortium of construction companies and the other worker agreed to pay $ 2.5 million of that amount. Their primary insurer paid $ 1 million but payment of the remaining $ 1.5 million was delayed, and the injured party filed a motion for a default judgment seeking the $ 1.5 million plus interest. The consortium paid the $ 1.5 million but it refused to pay interest on that amount. However, the trial court ruled that the injured party was entitled to interest in the amount of $ 40,931, calculated at 12 percent per annum, pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. § 52-195c(d), from the date payment was due until the date payment was made.

The appellate court held that the trial court ruled correctly that the debt was undisputed and that payment of the $ 1.5 million did not discharge the consortium's obligation to pay interest on the debt, either under Conn. Gen. Stat. § 42a-3-311 or under the common law doctrine of accord and satisfaction.

The trial court's judgment was affirmed.

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