United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Augusta Division
RENAISSANCE RECOVERY SOLUTIONS, LLC, UNITED STATES FIRE INSURANCE COMPANY, and INTERSTATE FIRE AND CASUALTY COMPANY, Plaintiffs,
MONROE GUARANTY INSURANCE COMPANY and FCCI INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendants.
RANDAL HALL JUDGE
previous order ruling on the parties' cross-motions for
summary judgment, the Court ruled that Defendant Monroe owed
Plaintiffs $632, 198.53 and requested the parties issue a
proposed judgment detailing the amount of interest, if any,
owed by Defendant Monroe to Plaintiffs. (Doc. 96.) The
parties, unsurprisingly, could not come to an agreement. This
Order settles their dispute.
background of this case has been amply discussed in the
Court's previous orders. (Docs. 65, 96.) Nevertheless,
the Court will include an abbreviated and simplified history
of the proceedings for the reader's convenience.
Michael Brown killed William Jacobs while attempting to
repossess a truck. Jacobs' wife brought suit (the
"Jacobs Action") against Brown, Nuvell
Auto Finance, Renaissance Recovery Solutions, LLC, and Renovo
Services, LLC (the "Tortfeasors") . After a trial
in Columbia County, Georgia, a jury awarded a joint and
several liability verdict against the Tortfeasors in the
amount of $2.5 million dollars (the "Jacobs
parties to this case insured the Tortfeasors. During the
Jacobs Action, Defendants in this case - Monroe and
FCCI - refused to participate. Plaintiffs in this case - U.S.
Fire and Interstate -attempted to force Defendants'
participation by filing a third-party complaint claiming
Defendants were contractually obligated to defend the
Tortfeasors. Prior to trial in the Jacobs Action,
the trial court severed the third-party complaint from the
Jacobs Action and granted summary judgment in favor
of Defendants in this case.
appeal, the Georgia Court of Appeals found that Defendants
did owe coverage to the Tortfeasors. After remand to the
trial court, the case was removed to this Court. In this
Court's previous summary judgment order, the Court
revised portions of its initial summary judgment order and
found Defendant Monroe liable to Plaintiffs in the amount of
$632, 198.53. The Court requested the parties to submit
"a joint proposed judgment detailing how Monroe's
coverage obligations, including any interest, should be
distributed among Plaintiffs." (Doc. 96, at 44.) The
parties, however, could not agree on the amount of interest
owed by Defendant Monroe.
argue that under Georgia law, O.C.G.A. § 7-4-12, they
are entitled to post-judgment interest on the $632, 198.53
granted by this Court's previous order and calculated
from the date of the Jacobs Verdict. Defendants
counter that Plaintiffs are not entitled to post-judgment
interest under § 7-4-12 and that they are no longer
entitled to interest under Michigan law, M.C.L. §
500.2006, as this Court previously found in its order dated
July 13, 2016 (doc. 65). The Court concludes that Plaintiffs
are not entitled to interest under Georgia law, §
7-4-12, or Michigan law, § 500.2006.
O.C.G.A. § 7-4-12
argue that they are entitled to interest under O.C.G.A.
§ 7-4-12. Section 7-4-12 provides that parties are
automatically entitled to post-judgment interest "to all
judgments in [Georgia] and the interest shall be collectable
as a part of each judgment whether or not the judgment
specifically reflects the entitlement to postjudgment
interest." Plaintiffs argue that the judgment to which
the Court should look for purposes of calculating interest is
the Jacobs Verdict. Accordingly, Plaintiffs assert
that the Court's award of $632, 198.53 in its previous
order should be treated as if it was awarded in December
2011. Thus, Plaintiffs argue that they are entitled to $232,
094.80 of interest (calculated according to the rate set by
§ 7-4-12 (a) and accruing from the date of December 8,
2011) for a total award of $864, 293.33.
7-4-12, however, does not apply to the present situation. The
operative judgment for § 7-4-12 is the final judgment
entered in this action, not the final judgement entered in
the Jacobs Action. The state trial court severed the
present action from the Jacobs Action. Thus, this
action cannot relate back to the judgment entered against the
Tortfeasors. As this Court has emphasized, this action is a
contribution action amongst co-insurers that seeks to divide
a common liability incurred by their co-insured as a result
of the Jacobs Verdict. (Doc. 96, at 25-26.) This
action only relates to the Jacobs Verdict because
the Jacobs Verdict established how much money is
potentially owed between the parties to this case as
co-insurers of the Tortfeasors. The Jacobs
Verdict has long been paid and satisfied by Plaintiffs in
this case. Accordingly, any post-judgment interest under
§ 7-4-12 would apply to the final judgment entered in
this case only - a judgment which has not yet been entered.
Plaintiffs, therefore, are not entitled to any interest under
M.C.L. § 500.2006
argue that this Court's ruling on September 12, 2017,
characterizing the present action as one for contribution
rather than subrogation, altered the Court's ruling on
July 13, 2016, with regards to the Court's application of
M.C.L. § 500.2006. Defendants are correct.
July 13, 2016 ruling, this Court characterized the present
action as one for subrogation. (Doc. 65, at 8.) In its
September 12, 2017 ruling, however, this Court reversed
course and characterized the present action as one for
contribution. (Doc. 96, at 26.) The Court's
characterization of this action as one for ...