Tschaggeny v. Milbank Insurance Co

In Tschaggeny v. Milbank Insurance Co., 2007 UT 37, 163 P.3d 615, the Court was called upon to interpret a statute that requires the court to grant the plaintiff interest on special damages awarded by the jury "from the date of the occurrence of the act giving rise to the cause of action to the date of entering the judgment." Utah Code Ann. 78-27-44(2) (2002). In that case, the defendant had made a payment to the plaintiff well before the date of the trial, which the trial judge had deducted from the final jury award. Under the relevant statute, however, the plaintiff sought interest on this pretrial payment for the full statutory period, even for the time after the money had already been remitted to her. Id. The Court found that "because the clear purpose of section 78-27-44(2) is to compensate wronged parties for delays in recovering damages, it is absurd to require a defendant to pay interest on money that has already been remitted to the plaintiff." Id.