Simpson v. Mercantile Bank of Memphis, No. 55452

CourtCourt of Appeal of Missouri (US)
Writing for the CourtGRIMM; PUDLOWSKI, C.J., and CRANDALL
Citation773 S.W.2d 885
Decision Date27 June 1989
Docket NumberNo. 55452
PartiesJosephine SIMPSON, Plaintiff/Respondent, v. MERCANTILE BANK OF MEMPHIS, Missouri, Defendant/Appellant.

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773 S.W.2d 885
Josephine SIMPSON, Plaintiff/Respondent,
MERCANTILE BANK OF MEMPHIS, Missouri, Defendant/Appellant.
No. 55452.
Missouri Court of Appeals,
Eastern District,
Northern Division.
June 27, 1989.

Rex V. Gump, Hulen, Hulen, Tatlow & Gump, Moberly, for defendant/appellant.

Charles R. Willis, St. Louis, for plaintiff/respondent.

GRIMM, Judge.

In this tort action for fraud, the jury returned a verdict for plaintiff Josephine Simpson. The verdict read, "For actual damages $12,212.92 + 13 1/2% int. per annum from 11/7/83 to 7/8/88." The trial judge performed the mathematical computation and entered judgment for $22,065.21.

Defendant Mercantile Bank of Memphis, Missouri appeals. It challenges the verdict upon which the judgment was entered, claiming the award of interest "was beyond the pleadings and beyond the submissions to the jury." We find, however, that the jury's verdict expressed its intent to award Simpson a specific amount, within the

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range of permissible verdicts. Accordingly, we affirm.

Simpson's petition alleged that Mercantile had fraudulently induced her into paying debts for which she was not personally liable. Simpson sought actual damages of $39,212.92. This amount represented the sum of two notes, $27,000 and $12,212.92, erroneously paid by her.

After receiving the jury's verdict, and before entering judgment thereon, the judge, in open court and in the presence of the jury, asked counsel whether the verdict was acceptable to them. Counsel for both parties said yes. The court then accepted the verdict and discharged the jury.

Mercantile now argues that the portion of the verdict pertaining to interest should be stricken as surplusage. It points out that plaintiff did not plead interest; and therefore, judgment should be entered for $12,212.92 only.

In support of its position, Mercantile cites Bredell v. Parker-Russell Mining and Mfg. Co., 21 S.W.2d 932 (Mo.App.E.D.1929), as being "exactly analagous to the instant fact situation." There, the jury awarded plaintiff $2,000 plus specified interest. Neither the jury or the judge, however, computed the interest, and judgment was entered for only $2,000.

Bredell is not applicable. First, Bredell was a contract action; Simpson alleged a tort. Second, the defendant in Bredell complained that the verdict was so incomplete that the court had no authority to enter judgment thereon. Id. at 936. However, the court recognized that the interest could have...

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