Today, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled unanimously that a claimant is not entitled to interest on damages if no court action is filed. The opinion written by Justice Brian Boatright supports the position taken by Colorado Civil Justice League in an amicus brief authored by Lee Mickus of Taylor Anderson LLP.
“We hold that, under the plain language of the (statute), an insured is entitled to prejudgment interest only after (1) an action is brought, (2) the plaintiff claims damages and interest in the complaint, (3) there is a finding of damages by a jury or court, and (4) judgment is entered,” wrote Justice Boatright.
In this case, Joel Munoz was injured in a car crash and reached a settlement with his insurer, American Family. Munoz asked for interest on the claim, but American Family Insurance declined to pay interest because Colorado law requires interest only after a judgment, not after a private settlement.
The high court’s finding upheld an early decision by the Colorado Court of Appeals.
Read the Supreme Court opinion HERE.