Aaron Manor Inc. v. Irving
The purpose of Connecticut General Statutes §37-3a is to compensate a prevailing party for the delay in collecting money, and interest of 1 percent can be sufficient. The plaintiff nursing facility, Aaron Manor Inc., sued the defendant, Janet Irving, alleging that Irving signed an admission contract and other documents as the "responsible party" for her father, William Ammon, upon his admission to the plaintiff's facilities. The plaintiff mailed monthly bills to the defendant's brother, William Ammon, who held a power of attorney for his father and paid bills from his father's bank account. Following trial, the court granted judgment to Irving, because she did not have a power of attorney for her father or access to his checking account or other financial resources. The trial court awarded Irving $36,000 in attorneys' fees, pursuant to C.G.S. §42-150bb. The plaintiff appealed. The Connecticut Supreme Court held that the trial court properly concluded that Irving qualified as a consumer, pursuant to C.G.S. §42-150bb, because she was the personal representative of the buyer, her father, and that Irving was entitled to reasonable attorneys' fees, because she prevailed. Irving requested postjudgment interest of 10 percent, pursuant to C.G.S. §37-3a. The court considered whether the plaintiff wrongfully detained money owed to the defendant and, if so, the date on which the wrongful detention began. The court found that an award of 10 percent interest would constitute a windfall for the defendant. The purpose of the statute is to compensate the prevailing party for a delay in collecting money. Interest of 1 percent is sufficient to compensate the defendant, and the court awarded $1,559 in interest. The defendant's attorney, Garlick, provided an affidavit of attorneys' fees. The attorney's description of the legal work and the amount billed appeared reasonable. The court approved $8,604 for the appeal to the Appellate Court and $4,636 for the appeal to the Supreme Court, plus $639 in costs. The court subtracted attorneys' fees for the prejudgment remedy application. The trial court approved attorneys' fees and fees of $13,306, for the appellate legal work.