Bingham v. Zolt, No. 86 CIV 9477 (KC).

CourtUnited States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
Writing for the CourtCONBOY
Citation810 F. Supp. 100
PartiesJ. Reid BINGHAM v. Marvin ZOLT, et al.
Docket NumberNo. 86 CIV 9477 (KC).
Decision Date04 January 1993

810 F. Supp. 100

J. Reid BINGHAM
v.
Marvin ZOLT, et al.

No. 86 CIV 9477 (KC).

United States District Court, S.D. New York.

January 4, 1993.


810 F. Supp. 101

Robert Brundige, Jr., Hughes Hubbard & Reed, New York City, for plaintiff.

Paul D. Friedland, Courdert Bros.; Kaare Phillips, Grais & Phillips; Adam Simms, Brody & Fabiani; Kathryn Keneally, Kostelanetez Ritholz Tigue & Fink, Ray Beckerman, New York City; and Jeremy Miskin, Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads, Philadelphia, PA, for defendants.

OPINION AND ORDER

CONBOY, District Judge:

Following twelve weeks of trial, a jury returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiff estate against two of the defendants, Marvin Zolt and David Steinberg, in the sum of $800,000 on the three RICO counts and $250,000 on the common law counts. In accordance with 18 U.S.C. § 1964(c), the Court has trebled the RICO recovery and awarded reasonable attorney's fees to the plaintiff.

The issue before the Court is whether to grant plaintiff's request for prejudgment interest on the RICO recovery. The RICO statute is silent on the subject of prejudgment interest. Nu-Life Const. v. Board of Education, 789 F.Supp. 103, 104 (E.D.N.Y.1992). In the face of this silence, the Court has discretion to award or not award prejudgment interest. Wickham Contracting Co. v. Local Union No. 3, 955 F.2d 831, 835 (2d Cir.1992).

In Wickham Contracting Co. v. Local Union No. 3, 955 F.2d 831 (2d Cir. 1992), the Second Circuit analyzed the general factors to consider in deciding whether or not to award prejudgment interest. In that case, the Court wrote:

... the award should be a function of (i) the need to fully compensate the wronged party for actual damages suffered, (ii) considerations of fairness and the relative equities of the award, (iii) the remedial purpose of the statute involved, and/or (iv) such other general principles as are deemed relevant by the court.

Id. at 833. Applying the Wickham factors to the present case, we find that the treble

810 F. Supp. 102
damage award on the RICO recovery adequately compensates plaintiff for the actual damages suffered and obviates the need to award prejudgment interest. Indeed, there was evidence introduced by the defendants that the value of the diverted estate assets was actually enhanced during the period of the wrongdoing. In addition, the Court notes that the plaintiff has not even alleged, no less proven, that the defendants charged excessive or unduly high fees for their services. Finally, the jury has already returned a verdict against one of the defendants, David Steinberg, for punitive damages in the amount of $1,000,000

While denying an award of prejudgment interest based on the particular circumstances of this case, the Court observes that the Second Circuit has yet to decide whether prejudgment interest is ever available on a RICO verdict. At least one Court in this Circuit has suggested that prejudgment interest should not be available on a RICO verdict. In Nu-Life Const. v. Board of Education, 789 F.Supp. 103 (E.D.N.Y. 1992), the Court denied plaintiff prejudgment interest, stating "it appears that interest awards under RICO are unnecessary to fairly compensate a successful plaintiff." Id. at 105. The Nu-Life Court based its reasoning on the holding in Trans World Airlines, Inc. v. Hughes, 449 F.2d 51, 80 (2d Cir.1971), in which the Court found that the treble damages provided under the Clayton Act sufficiently compensated the plaintiff and made an award of prejudgment interest unnecessary. In Trans World Airlines, Inc., the Court asserted that "it is reasonable to interpret Congress's silence on the matter as indicating that trebled damages are sufficient penalty and that interest need not be included." Id. at 80.1

The main function of an award of...

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13 practice notes
  • W. Hills Farms, LLC v. Classicstar Farms, Inc. (In re Classicstar Mare Lease Litig.), Nos. 12–5467
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • September 18, 2013
    ...reasoning that the trebled damages are sufficient to adequately compensate plaintiffs for their losses. See, e.g., Bingham v. Zolt, 810 F.Supp. 100, 101–02 (S.D.N.Y.1993) (finding that a [727 F.3d 496]RICO treble damages award “obviates the need to award prejudgment interest”); Nu–Life Cons......
  • In re Crazy Eddie Securities Litigation, No. 87 CV 0033.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of New York)
    • August 8, 1996
    ...Airlines, 449 F.2d at 80 (pre-judgment interest not necessary where treble damages were granted under the Clayton Act); Bingham v. Zolt, 810 F.Supp. 100, 102 (S.D.N.Y.1993); Nu-Life Const. v. Board of Educ., 789 F.Supp. 103, 105 (E.D.N.Y.1992); but see Tri Component Products Corp. v. Benarr......
  • Ungar ex rel. Strachman v. Palestinian Authority, No. 00-105L.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. District of Rhode Island
    • January 27, 2004
    ...606 F.Supp. at 1274. See also Rao v. New York City Health and Hosps. Corp., 882 F.Supp. 321, 325 (S.D.N.Y.1995) and Bingham v. Zolt, 810 F.Supp. 100, 101 (S.D.N.Y.1993)(both noting that when the applicable federal statute is silent on the availability of prejudgment interest, a court may aw......
  • Estates of Ungar v. The Palestinian Authority, No. C.A.No. 00-105L (D. R.I. 1/27/2004), No. C.A.No. 00-105L.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. District of Rhode Island
    • January 27, 2004
    ...606 F. Supp. at 1274. See also Rao v. New York City Health and Hosps. Corp., 882 F. Supp. 321, 325 (S.D.N.Y. 1995) and Bingham v. Zolt, 810 F. Supp. 100, 101 (S.D.N.Y. 1993)(both noting that when the applicable federal statue is silent on the availability of prejudgment interest, a court ma......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
13 cases
  • W. Hills Farms, LLC v. Classicstar Farms, Inc. (In re Classicstar Mare Lease Litig.), Nos. 12–5467
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • September 18, 2013
    ...reasoning that the trebled damages are sufficient to adequately compensate plaintiffs for their losses. See, e.g., Bingham v. Zolt, 810 F.Supp. 100, 101–02 (S.D.N.Y.1993) (finding that a [727 F.3d 496]RICO treble damages award “obviates the need to award prejudgment interest”); Nu–Life Cons......
  • In re Crazy Eddie Securities Litigation, No. 87 CV 0033.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of New York)
    • August 8, 1996
    ...Airlines, 449 F.2d at 80 (pre-judgment interest not necessary where treble damages were granted under the Clayton Act); Bingham v. Zolt, 810 F.Supp. 100, 102 (S.D.N.Y.1993); Nu-Life Const. v. Board of Educ., 789 F.Supp. 103, 105 (E.D.N.Y.1992); but see Tri Component Products Corp. v. Benarr......
  • Ungar ex rel. Strachman v. Palestinian Authority, No. 00-105L.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. District of Rhode Island
    • January 27, 2004
    ...606 F.Supp. at 1274. See also Rao v. New York City Health and Hosps. Corp., 882 F.Supp. 321, 325 (S.D.N.Y.1995) and Bingham v. Zolt, 810 F.Supp. 100, 101 (S.D.N.Y.1993)(both noting that when the applicable federal statute is silent on the availability of prejudgment interest, a court may aw......
  • Estates of Ungar v. The Palestinian Authority, No. C.A.No. 00-105L (D. R.I. 1/27/2004), No. C.A.No. 00-105L.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. District of Rhode Island
    • January 27, 2004
    ...606 F. Supp. at 1274. See also Rao v. New York City Health and Hosps. Corp., 882 F. Supp. 321, 325 (S.D.N.Y. 1995) and Bingham v. Zolt, 810 F. Supp. 100, 101 (S.D.N.Y. 1993)(both noting that when the applicable federal statue is silent on the availability of prejudgment interest, a court ma......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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