Judge Frederick Scullin

Despite a jury’s award of $7.3 million in quantum meruit damages against the City of Syracuse, American Underground Engineering (AUE) accepted remittitur reducing the award to $5.3 million. The Second Circuit granted Syracuse’s motion to hold its appeal in abeyance pending a ruling on its motion under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b) prescribing prejudgment interest. The court granted Syracuse’s motion to stay judgment pending appeal, but determined that Syracuse must post a supersedeas bond in the full amount of the judgment against it, plus an additional 11 percent as required by Local Rule 67.1. The court also granted Syracuse’s motion seeking calculation of prejudgment interest at a rate lower than 9 percent, as limited by New York’s General Municipal Law §3-a(1) and State Finance Law §16. Discussing the analysis by Syracuse’s certified public accountant, the court—deeming the 9 percent rate an unreasonable windfall to AUE—applied a rate of 4.72 percent to calculate prejudgment interest for the period between Oct. 22, 1999—the date on which the parties agreed interest began to accrue—through Oct. 13, 2011, the date on which the court entered judgment.