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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:A car driven by Brantley Pringle struck a piece of construction equipment in the area where Toby Moon was working with tree removal equipment. Because he was injured at work, Moon obtained workers’ compensation benefits from Texas Mutual Insurance Co. Brantley then sued Moon, and Moon filed a counterclaim. Texas Mutual asserted a right to recovery of benefits it already paid to Moon. Brantley’s insurer, GEICO, contracted with Texas Mutual so that, in exchange for GEICO’s cash payment, Texas Mutual assigned GEICO its right of recovery. GEICO then assigned Brantley the subrogation recovery interest just assigned to it by Texas Mutual. A jury returned a verdict for Brantley for $44,243, and the trial court rendered judgment on the verdict on July 7, 2003. On Aug. 20, the trial court granted Brantley’s motion to modify the judgment to reflect his workers’ compensation lien. The July 7 judgment was thus vacated. Brantley died suddenly on Sept. 2. Helen Pringle was substituted as a party on Oct. 24, as the independent executrix of Brantley’s estate. The trial court entered a final judgment on Oct. 30. The judgment included the lien and prejudgment interest at the rate of 10 percent per annum on the entire amount of damages found by the jury. Pringle moved to modify the interest rate and the interest calculation, but the motion was overruled by operation of law. Pringle appeals that ruling. HOLDING:Reversed and remanded in part. The court explains that, under Finance Code 304.103, prejudgment interest rate is equal to the post-judgment rate applicable at the time of judgment. In 2003, the Legislature passed two bills that would amend the Finance Code to effectively reduce the post-judgment interest rate from 10 percent to 5 percent. Both bills provided that the new interest rate would apply in a case in which a final judgment was “signed or subject to appeal on or after the effective date of this Act.” The first bill to go into effect applies to any case where a final judgment was signed or subject to appeal on or after Sept. 1, 2003. In this case, the final judgment was signed Oct. 30. And contrary to Moon’s assertion, the Oct. 30 judgment was not merely a judgment nunc pro tunc that related back to the July 7 judgment. The trial court expressly vacated its July 7 judgment when it granted Pringle’s motion to modify. A judgment that has been vacated has no legal effect. When a judgment has been rendered and later vacated, the matter stands as if there had not yet been a judgment. Even if the trial court stated its intention to have the Oct. 30 judgment relate back to the July 7 judgment, this could not happen, as the July 7 judgment ceased to exist. Turning to the issue of the prejudgment interest rate and calculation, the court finds the trial court erred in failing to deduct the amount of Brantley’s workers’ compensation credit before it calculated prejudgment interest. OPINION:John Cayce, C.J.; Cayce, C.J., Dauphinot and Gardner, JJ.

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