Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

MOVITZ v. FIRST NAT'L BANK OF CHICAGO

October 9, 1997

LOUIS A. MOVITZ, as Trustee, and ESTOCK CORPORATION, N. V., Plaintiffs,
v.
THE FIRST NATIONAL BANK OF CHICAGO, Defendant.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: NORGLE

 CHARLES R. NORGLE, SR., District Judge:

 Before the court is Plaintiffs' Motion for Prejudgment Interest. For the following reasons, the motion is denied.

 I. BACKGROUND

 In the late 1970s, The First National Bank of Chicago ("Defendant") had a program to attract foreign high-net-worth individuals as customers, and to manage and invest the assets of such persons in real property within the United States. Dr. Jawad Hashim *fn1" ("Hashim"), born in Iraq, *fn2" was such an investor.

 In the summer of 1980, the Defendant learned that "Corporate Atrium I," an office building in a suburb of Houston, Texas, was for sale. The Defendant advised Hashim of the investment opportunity. In August 1980, Hashim visited the property with a representative for the Defendant, and reviewed the information the Defendant supplied to him concerning the property.

 Hashim allegedly signed a written letter, authorizing the Defendant to purchase Corporate Atrium I, based on the Defendant's "expertise and experience in the evaluation, acquisition, management, and disposition of real property located within the United States." The co-Plaintiff, Estock Corporation, N. V., ("Estock"), was incorporated to acquire, and hold title to, Corporate Atrium I; Hashim was the sole shareholder. Pursuant to an Agency Agreement, Estock retained the Defendant as its "advisor, agent, and attorney-in-fact for the evaluation, acquisition, management and disposition of Properties."

 In December 1980, the Defendant acquired Corporate Atrium I on behalf of Estock. Between December 1980 and May 1984, the Defendant managed Corporate Atrium I. Allegedly, after learning of the Defendant's mismanagement of the building, Hashim terminated the Defendant. Chase Manhattan took over the management responsibilities. In late 1985, Estock and Hashim were advised that at least another $ 1,000,000 would be needed to salvage their investment; they decided to allow the mortgage holder to foreclose on the building instead.

 In May 1986, the Plaintiffs filed a complaint, alleging breach of fiduciary duty, common law negligence, and breach of contract. On March 27, 1997, a jury returned a general verdict in favor of the Plaintiffs, and against the Defendant, in the amount of $ 3,284,665. The Plaintiffs now seek prejudgment interest.

 II. DISCUSSION

 The Plaintiffs argue that they are presumptively entitled to prejudgment interest under federal law. See City of Milwaukee v. Cement Div., Nat'l Gypsum Co., 515 U.S. 189, 195-96, 132 L. Ed. 2d 148, 115 S. Ct. 2091 (1995) ("The essential rationale for awarding prejudgment interest is to ensure that an injured party is fully compensated for its loss. Full compensation has long been recognized as a basic principle of admiralty law."); Matter of Oil Spill by the Amoco Cadiz, 954 F.2d 1279, 1331 (7th Cir. 1992) ("Money today is not a full substitute for the same sum that should have been paid years ago. Prejudgment interest therefore is an ordinary part of any award under federal law."); Gorenstein Enter., Inc. v. Quality Care-USA, Inc., 874 F.2d 431, 436 (7th Cir. 1989) ("The time has come, we think, to generalize, and to announce a rule that prejudgment interest should be presumptively available to victims of federal law violations.").

 This, however, is a diversity case, controlled by Illinois law. "In diversity cases governed by Erie, federal courts look to state law to determine the availability of (and rules for computing) prejudgment interest." Medcom Holding Co. v. Baxter Travenol Lab., Inc., 106 F.3d 1388, 1405 (7th Cir. 1997) (quoting Amoco Cadiz, 954 F.2d at 1333). As such, the court must determine whether the Plaintiffs are entitled to prejudgment interest under Illinois law.

 In Illinois, prejudgment interest is generally recoverable only when an express agreement between the parties exists or if it is authorized by statute. See Continental Cas. Co. v. Commonwealth Edison Co., 286 Ill. App. 3d 572, 676 N.E.2d 328, 331, 221 Ill. Dec. 807 (Ill. App. Ct. 1997) (citing Dep't of Transp. v. New Century Eng'g and Dev. Corp., 97 Ill. 2d 343, 454 N.E.2d 635, 73 Ill. Dec. 538 (Ill. 1983)); Bank of Chicago v. Park Nat'l Bank, 266 Ill. App. 3d 890, 640 N.E.2d 1288, 1296, 203 Ill. Dec. 915 (Ill. App. Ct. 1994). Alternatively, the court can grant prejudgment interest if it is warranted by equitable considerations. See In re Marriage of Blinderman, 283 Ill. App. 3d 26, 669 N.E.2d 687, 693, 218 Ill. Dec. 544 (Ill. App. Ct. 1996) ("'Prejudgment interest is proper where authorized by statute, agreement of the parties, or in cases where warranted by equitable considerations.'") (citations omitted).

 The Plaintiffs do not argue that an express agreement warranting prejudgment interest exists. Thus, the court will determine whether the Plaintiffs have a statutory right to prejudgment ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.