The opinion of the court was delivered by: CHARLES RONALD NORGLE, SR.
Before the court is the motion of Petroleum Insurance Limited ("P.I.L.") to reconsider or amend the court's order of April 14, 1992. P.I.L. requests the entry of a Modified Final Judgment against Amoco Transport Company ("Amoco") in favor of P.I.L. in the principal amount of United States Dollars Twenty-One Million Seven Hundred Forty-eight Thousand Five Hundred Seventy-Seven and Forty-Four Cents ($ 21,748,577.44) with interest thereon in the amount of United States Dollars Thirty Three Million Five Hundred Sixty Nine Thousand Seven Hundred Thirty-Eight and Thirteen Cents ($ 33,569,738.13). P.I.L. also requests costs in the amount of $ 65,974.25 and that Amoco Transport Company pay post judgment interest to P.I.L. on the judgment entered at the annual rate of 8.09%, compounded per annum, from Judgment dated July 24, 1990.
P.I.L. argues that the undisputed average market rate was 12.31% for the 360-day banking year and that the court has erred in dropping 64 days interest P.I.L. should receive to obtain the 12.31% prime rate awarded by the Court of Appeals. In support of the motion, P.I.L. states it calculated the average prime rate from the published prime rates prevailing during the period between March 16, 1978 and July 24, 1990. Those rates, as confirmed by the Federal Reserve Statistical Release and Thorndike, were based on a 360-day banking year. "Per annum" with respect to prime rate can mean only one thing. Each 360 days the funds are on loan to Amoco, Amoco must pay P.I.L. "hire" at 12.31% just as Amoco must do if it borrowed the funds from a bank.
P.I.L. adds that the effect of this Court's order of April 14, 1992 is to penalize P.I.L. to the benefit of Amoco by reducing the prime rate awarded by the court of Appeals from 12.31% to 12.14% for a 365-days year and 12.11 for a 366-day year. That, certainly, was not the intention of the Court of Appeals. P.I.L. concludes with:
Interest at what rate? Surely the market rate.
In response, Amoco argues that P.I.L.'s memorandum fails to demonstrate that the court's April 14 Order is based upon a manifest error of law or fact. Further, Amoco argues that P.I.L.'s claim that "the case is procedurally in Limbo" (P.I.L. Memo. at 2) is hypertechnical. The fact is that while the court was considering the parties' $ 476,000 dispute over the proper computation and amount of prejudgment interest, Amoco and P.I.L. worked out a stipulation to allow Amoco to pay the principal, costs, disputed prejudgment interest, and postjudgment interest on the disputed amount. Pursuant to that stipulation, on April 2, 1992, $ 62,580,000 was wire transferred to P.I.L.'s New York bank account.
The response adds that this court correctly resolved the prejudgment interest disputed between Amoco and P.I.L. in a thorough opinion on April 14, 1992, in which the court concluded that "using the 360 day year and assuming that no days exist after December 26" was the only way to comply with all orders of this court and the Seventh Circuit -- including the Seventh Circuit's decision that P.I.L. is entitled to 12.31% per annum.
In the April 14, 1992 Order the court said:
Before the court is the motion of Petroleum Insurance Limited ("P.I.L.") to modify this court's July 24, 1990 judgment. The motion is granted in part, as set forth below.
On March 16, 1978, the supertanker Amoco Cadiz went down in heavy Atlantic seas with a full load of crude, dumping its 220,000 tons of oil on the north coast of France. The aftermath spawned litigation that was consolidated before this court. A bifurcated trial was held that took more than eight years to complete, resulting in the court's final judgment on July 24, 1990.
As part of that final judgment, the court held that the parties should calculate interest on the basis of a 360 day "bank year."
An appeal was had. In a per curiam opinion, the Seventh Circuit said in part, "the computation of damages is affirmed with the following exceptions: . . . . 5. P.I.L. is entitled to simple prejudgment interest at the rate of 12.31% per annum from March 16, 1978." In re Oil Spill By the Amoco Cadiz Off the Coast of France On March 16, 1978, 954 F.2d 1279, 1337 (7th Cir. 1992) ...