WHEN APPELLATE COURT REVERSES AND REQUIRES “MODIFICATION” OF AN EXISTING JUDGMENT, INTEREST STILL RUNS FROM THE DATE OF THAT JUDGMENT (AND NOT THE VERDICT WHICH WOULD BE THE CASE IF THE APPELLATE COURT REVERSED FOR A JUDGMENT).
Alexander v. Kalitan, 44 Fla. L. Weekly D211 (Fla. 4th DCA January 9, 2019):
Generally, interest on a money judgment in a tort case runs from the date of the judgment. But there is a rule of appellate procedure that provides an exception when a reversal on appeal requires the entry of a money judgment, in which case, the interest runs from the date of the verdict.
However, there is a gray area. When the court’s reversal requires “modification” of an existing judgment, as opposed to “initial entry” of a money judgment, then the rule does not apply and interest runs from the date of the final judgment.
In this case involving a medical malpractice verdict, the trial court had reduced the judgment based on the statute capping non-economic damages. When the Fourth District reversed, it advised the trial judge to reinstate the total damage award, but to modify the final judgment with respect to the other elements.
Rule 9.340(c) is an exception to the general rule that interest runs from the date of the judgment. The appellate rule exception only applies when reversal on appeal results in an initial entry of a money judgment, not when reversal on appeal requires modification of a previously entered money judgment.