United States District Court, D. Connecticut
ORDER ON PRE-JUDGMENT INTEREST
A. BOLDEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
August 30, 2017, this Court ordered Michael Barham
(“Mr. Barham or “Plaintiff”) to recalculate
pre-judgment interest. See Memorandum and Ruling Re:
Economic Damages and Defendants' Motion For Remittitur
(“August 30th Ruling”) at 19-20, ECF No. 618
(finding plaintiff had erroneously calculated pre-judgment
interest rate based on Connecticut statutory rate instead of
federal rate and ordering recalculation).
this calculation and an objection from Defendants, the Court
has undertaken its own analysis and for the reasons that
follow, awards Plaintiff $15, 645.27 in pre-judgment
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
history of this litigation, both factually and procedurally,
is captured in other rulings issued by this Court. See,
e.g., Bench Ruling, ECF No. 561; August 30th Order;
Ruling on Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment and
Motion to Sever, ECF No. 255. For purposes of this ruling,
the Court only addresses those issues pertinent to this
August 30, 2017, the Court issued an order detailing the
relief to be awarded to Mr. Barham. See August 30th
Ruling at 22. This relief included reinstatement and back pay
in the amount of $238, 678. Id. The Court also ruled
that Mr. Barham is entitled to a pre-judgment interest on his
damages award. See Id. at 19 (“The decision to
award prejudgment interest is left to the sound discretion of
the court, and it is ordinarily considered an abuse of
discretion not to award pre-judgment interest when awarding
lost wages” (citing Gierlinger v. Gleason, 160
F.3d 858, 873 (2d Cir. 1998)). The Court, however, took issue
with his proposed pre-judgment interest methodology.
See August 30th Ruling at 19. The
Court then ordered Plaintiff to recalculate the pre-judgment
Calculating the award should be done as follows:
‘First, the award  should be divided pro rata over
the appropriate time period. Second, once the award is
divided, the average annual United States treasury bill rate
of interest referred to in 28 U.S.C. § 1961 will be
applied. Third and finally, in order to guarantee complete
compensation to the plaintiff, the interest will be
compounded annually.'” Accordingly, Mr. Barham is
directed to use this methodology to calculate the interest on
the back pay award of $238, 678 from February 25, 2011 to the
judgment date of October 27, 2017.
Id. at 20 (quoting Thomas v. iStar Fin.,
Inc., 508 F.Supp.2d 252, 264 (S.D.N.Y. 2007).
submitted his calculation on November 13, 2017. Pl. Resp.,
ECF No. 655. He calculated pre-judgment interest to be $23,
997.37. Defendants objected to that figure, arguing that
Plaintiff misuses an online calculator and failed to properly
compound the interest annually over the pendency of the case.
Defs. Obj at 2-3, ECF No. 660. Defendants argue that
“the Plaintiffs pre-judgement [sic] interest
calculation deviates from standard procedure and explicit
court instructions. As a result, the Plaintiffs proposed
instruction should be rejected and the calculation provided
herein by the Defendants should be used instead.”
Id. at 1.
VII authorizes a district court to grant pre-judgment
interest on a back pay award.” Saulpaugh v. Monroe
Community Hospital, 4 F.3d at 145, 145 (2d Cir. 1993).
The decision to award pre-judgment interest “is
ordinarily left to the discretion of the district court . . .
which is to take into consideration “(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.” Gierlinger v.
Gleason, 160 F.3d 858, 873 (2d Cir. 1998) (internal
however, is usually an “abuse of discretion not to
include pre-judgment interest in a back-pay award” in
order to prevent an employer from enjoying “an
interest-free loan for as long as it can delay paying lost
wages.” Saulpaugh, 4 F.3d at 145 (internal
citations and quotations omitted). The Court therefore
granted pre-judgment interest in this case.
the law, pre-judgment interest in Title VII actions should be
calculated by applying the federal interest rate. Thomas
v. iStar Fin., Inc., 629 F.3d 276, 280 (2d Cir. 2010)
(“As the district court stated, and we now hold,
judgments that are based on both state and federal law with
respect to which no distinction is drawn shall have
applicable interest calculated at the federal interest
rate.”). Courts in the Second Circuit generally use the
annual average Treasury bill rate as stated in 28 U.S.C.
§ 1961(a) and compound that rate annually. See,
e.g., Vera v. Alstom Power, Inc., 189 F.Supp.3d
360, 389-390 (D. Conn. 2016) (collecting cases). As a result,
both parties erred in their calculations.
Court ordered that the award, $238, 678, should be divided
pro rata over the appropriate time period, from February 25,
2011 to the judgment date of October 27, 2017. The parties
agree that step yields an award of $35, 837.53 per year. The
average annual United States Treasury bill rate of interest
referred to in 28 U.S.C. § ...