By Memorandum Order and Amended Judgment by The Honorable Maryellen Noreika in Cignex Datamatics, Inc. v. Lam Research Corporation, Civil Action No. 17-320-MN (D.Del. January 21, 2021), the Court granted with modification Plaintiff’s motion to alter or amend the judgment by adding to the original judgment of $232,039.71 in favor of Plaintiff in the breach of contract action (1) an additional amount of pre-judgment interest in the amount of $60,564.56, calculated as simple interest based on the Delaware legal rate of 5.75% as a fixed rate at the time liability for interest began to accrue, and (2) post-judgment interest at the rate of 0.17% of the entire amount included in the amended judgment to compound annually from the date the amended judgment was entered until the judgment is paid.
In explaining how pre- and post-judgment interest are calculated in federal court contract actions in Delaware based on diversity jurisdiction, the Court explained that pre-judgment interest is awarded as a matter of right and is governed by Delaware law. Under Delaware law, if there is no expressed contract rate, the legal rate of interest is calculated as set forth in 6 Del. C. Ann. § 2301(a) – 5% over the Federal Reserve discount rate including any surcharge as of the time from which interest is due. Id. at *3. The Court explained that the issue of whether prejudgment interest should be compound or simple is a matter within the Court’s discretion, although Delaware courts have traditionally disfavored compound interest. Id. On the other hand, awards of post-judgment interest in federal court contract actions in Delaware based on diversity jurisdiction are governed by 28 U.S.C. § 1961. Id. at *5. Under §1961(a) the rate of post-judgment interest is the weekly average one year constant maturity Treasury yield for the week preceding entry of the judgment and is compounded annually. Id. at *6. In this instance, the post-judgment interest rate was calculated at 0.17% compounded annually. Id. The Court explained that post-judgment interest is calculated on the entire amount included in the judgment, which includes prejudgment interest. Id.
Copies of the Memorandum Order and Amended Judgment are attached.