United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
PARS ICE CREAM COMPANY, INC., a Michigan corporation, and PARS ICE CREAM CALIFORNIA, INC., a Michigan corporation, Plaintiffs,
CONOPCO, INC., d/b/a UNILEVER, Defendant/Counter-Plaintiff,
DAVOUD SADEGHI, SHELLEY TRAYWICK, PARS ICE CREAM COMPANY, INC., and PARS ICE CREAM CALIFORNIA, INC., Counter-Defendants.
ORDER GRANTING UNILEVER'S MOTION TO AMEND THE
JUDGMENT (DOC. 219)
AVERN COHN, Judge
a motion by Defendant Conopco, Inc., d/b/a Unilever
(Unilever) to amend the judgment entered in this case, (Doc.
219). The case concerns a commercial dispute between
Unilever-an ice cream manufacturer-and its
distributor-Plaintiffs Pars Ice Cream Company, Inc. and Pars
Ice Cream California, Inc. (Pars).
case was tried over the course of a 13-day bench trial, after
which the Court issued a decision awarding Unilever damages.
The award included $715, 336 for unpaid product invoices and
$1, 282, 373 for unauthorized deductions under the
parties' distribution agreements-totaling $1, 997, 709,
(Doc. 206). A final judgment was entered on July 14,
2016 pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(b), (Doc. 213). In the
judgment, the Court said it “shall maintain continuing
jurisdiction over this action for the purpose of enforcing
this Judgment” and noted the following:
Unilever has also included prejudgment interest in the amount
of $932, 292.22 in the form of judgment presented to the
Court, citing “N.Y. C.P.L.R. § 5001 and §
5004” in support. Given the parties' historical
relationship which is based on an open account and
considering that Unilever did not request interest on past
due invoices in its billings and made no mention of interest
during trial, the judgment does not contain an award of
prejudgment interest. Unilever must move separately
justifying the imposition of prejudgment interest under the
(Doc. 213 at 2 n.1).
says it is entitled under New York law to pre-judgment
interest on the unpaid invoices and unauthorized deductions
for which it was awarded damages. Unilever attaches a
spreadsheet reflecting the interest calculations for
Pars's unpaid obligations dating back to each invoice and
deduction at issue. Based on these calculations, Unilever
seeks $932, 292 in pre-judgment interest.
responds that interest should not be traced back as early as
the dates of each invoice and deduction. It reasons this is
inconsistent with the Court's observations in its rulings
that the parties operated under an open account in their
course of dealing.
award of pre-judgment interest is “mandatory”
under New York law for claims of breach of contract. J.
Barrows, Inc. v. Uvino, 514 F. App'x 23 (2d Cir.
2013); see also N.Y. C.P.L.R. § 5001(a). The
statutory interest rate is 9% annually.
C.P.L.R. § 5004. Interest must be computed “from
the earliest ascertainable date the cause of action
existed.” Id. § 5001(b).
is entitled to pre-judgment interest under New York law,
which governs the distribution agreements from which this
dispute arose. Per the terms of the Court's July 14, 2016