Plaintiffs in cases that result in a jury verdict in their favor are allowed to also collect “delay damages,” or interest that begins to accrue one year after a lawsuit is filed, a provision intended to reduce delays in cases reaching trial. Should a defendant appeal a verdict, plaintiffs are also entitled to post-judgment interest if they prevail and a jury award is upheld.
The amount of these interest payments is no small potatoes, as Kline & Specter attorneys Andy Stern and co-counsel Elizabeth Crawford recently demonstrated in a case against Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. A verdict of $10.1 million has now grown to roughly $12.1 million.
CHOP fought the interest payment as well as the verdict itself in an appeal to Pennsylvania Superior Court, which ruled Feb. 28 to affirm the jury verdict and all interest payments.
The actual verdict was handed down in November 2015 in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court and the same court ruled the following April that delay damages of $1.3 million would be tacked on to the award. As CHOP took more time appealing the verdict to Superior Court, post-judgment interest added roughly another $700,000 to the total, bringing it to about $12.1 million.
The rate of interest paid for delay damages is currently about 4.75 percent (the prime rate plus 1 percent), while the rate for post-judgment interest is set at 6 percent in Pennsylvania.