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Plaintiff corporation and defendant bank appealed a judgment of the Superior Court of San Diego County (California), which found defendant liable for 25 percent of plaintiff’s damages and conversion of a check in plaintiff’s action for defendant’s negligence and mistake in dealing with plaintiff’s employee who diverted proceeds of plaintiff’s checks through an account he opened with defendant.

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Overview

Plaintiff corporation filed suit against defendant bank for negligence and mistake in dealing with plaintiff’s employee who diverted proceeds of plaintiff’s checks through an account he opened with defendant. The trial court entered a judgment on the jury verdict that found defendant 25 percent liable and plaintiff 75 percent liable for its damages, and denied plaintiff’s motion for prejudgment interest. On appeal, the court affirmed in part and reversed in part. The court reversed the trial court’s award of postjudgment interest to plaintiff from the date of the verdict rather than the date of entry of the judgment and the denial of a dismissed defendant’s costs as the prevailing party. The court affirmed in all other respects. The court determined that plaintiff’s action was not barred by the three-year statute of limitations under Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 338(c). The court held that the trial court properly found that plaintiff was not entitled to prejudgment interest pursuant to Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 3287 because the damages were not capable of being determined until after trial and there was a vast disparity between the claimed damage and that which was awarded to plaintiff.

Outcome

The court affirmed the trial court’s ruling that the three-year statute of limitations applied to plaintiff corporation’s action against defendant bank for negligence and mistake, and plaintiff was not entitled to prejudgment interest because the damages were not capable of being made certain by calculation. The court reversed the award of postjudgment interest to plaintiff from the date of the verdict rather than the date of entry of judgment.

 

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