United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
SIONYX, LLC, and PRESIDENT AND FELLOWS OF HARVARD COLLEGE, Plaintiffs,
HAMAMATSU PHOTONICS K.K., HAMAMATSU CORP., OCEAN OPTICS, INC., and DOES 1-10, Defendants.
ORDER ON PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR PRE-JUDGMENT
INTEREST AND POST-JUDGMENT INTEREST
Dennis Saylor IV United States District Judge.
have moved post-trial for an award of both pre- and
plaintiffs seek $1, 091, 481 as prejudgment interest on the
damages awarded for breach of contract.
Gen Laws ch. 231, § 6C provides as follows: “In
all actions based on contractual obligations, upon a verdict,
finding or order for judgment for pecuniary damages, interest
shall be added by the clerk of the court to the amount of
damages, at the contract rate, if established, or at the rate
of twelve per cent per annum from the date of the breach or
application of § 6C leads to a straightforward
calculation here. The jury awarded plaintiffs damages of
$796, 469 for breach of contract; the jury found that the
contract was breached on February 1, 2008; and the
non-disclosure agreement did not contain a “contract
rate.” Accordingly, therefore, applying a rate of 12%
per annum from February 1, 2008, to the jury's damages
award results in a total of $1, 091, 481 in prejudgment
plaintiffs seek $660, 536 as prejudgment interest on the
damages awarded for unjust enrichment. The parties' main
dispute centers on whether § 6C or § 6H of Chapter
231 applies to the unjust-enrichment claim. Plaintiffs rely
on Bushkin Associates, Inc. v. Raytheon Co., 906
F.2d 11 (1st. Cir. 1990), in which the First Circuit held
that actions for unjust enrichment, or quantum meruit, are
“encompassed” by ch. 231, § 6H. Id.
at 18. That case does not answer the precise question here,
however, because, as the Bushkin court noted, §
6H was not “enacted” until “after the . . .
commencement” of that case. Id. at 14, n.3.
Defendants, by contrast, rely on Mill Pond Associates,
Inc. v. E & B Giftware, Inc., 751 F.Supp. 299 (D.
Mass. 1990). Defendants point to language in Mill
Pond that “Massachusetts courts have held that
prejudgment interest should not be applied to cases in which
the court calculates the plaintiff's damages by measuring
the defendant's wrongful profits.” Id. at
300. Defendants appear to contend that because the jury's
award for unjust enrichment in this case was calculated by
measuring HPK's wrongful profits, prejudgment interest
should not apply. Id.
Bushkin and Mill Pond point in different
directions. Nonetheless, and for two reasons, the Court will
apply § 6H. First, although Mill Pond did not
include any claims for unjust enrichment, and thus did not
even attempt to answer the question at issue here. Second,
nothing in Mill Pond calls directly into question
the First Circuit's clear holding in Bushkin
that unjust enrichment claims are encompassed by § 6H.
Accordingly, applying § 6H, and applying a date of
breach of January 10, 2010, prejudgment interest will be
ordered in the amount of $660, 536.
plaintiffs seek post-judgment interest under 28 U.S.C. §
1961 on all damages awarded. Section 1961 provides that
“interest shall be allowed on any money judgment in a
civil case recovered in a district court” and that
“such interest shall be calculated from the date of the
entry of the judgment, at a rate equal to the weekly average
1-year constant maturity Treasury yield, as published by the
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, for the
calendar week preceding the date of the judgment.”
Defendants do not oppose such an order. Defendants will
therefore be ordered to pay post-judgment interest at the
and for the foregoing reasons, plaintiffs' motion for
pre-judgment and post-judgment interest is GRANTED in part,
1. The judgment will include a provision requiring HPK to pay
$1, 091, 481 in pre-judgment interest;
2. The judgment will include a provision requiring HC to pay
$660, 536 in pre-judgment interest; and
3. The judgment will include a provision requiring plaintiffs
to pay post-judgment interest at the rate established by 28
U.S.C. § 1961.