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Federal Case Study

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ARGUMENT I. PLAINTIFF IS ENTITLED TO PREAWARD INTEREST AS A MATTER OF LAW UNDER MINN. STAT. § 549.09. The plain and unambiguous language of Minnesota’s interest statute, Minn. Stat. § 549.09, allows Plaintiff to recover preaward interest on the appraisal award. See Minn. Stat. § 549.09, subd. 1(a) (post-award interest computed “from the time of the … award or report until judgment is finally entered”); and Minn. Stat. §549.09, subd. 1(b) (computation of “preaward, or prereport interest” from “the time of the commencement of the action or a demand for arbitration, or the time of a written notice of claim”). Minn. Stat. § 549.09 specifically identifies a handful of limited exceptions where the court cannot award preaward interest. In…show more content…
Because appraisal awards are not specifically included in this narrow list of statutory exceptions, they are included within the scope of the preaward interest statute. Minnesota courts have consistently construed Minn. Stat. § 549.09 to allow an insured to recover preaward interest on an appraisal award. The Minnesota Court of Appeals addressed this issue nearly thirty years ago in David A. Brooks Enterprises, Inc. v. First Systems Agencies, 370 N.W.2d 434, 436 (Minn. 1985). In that case, an appraisal panel issued an award that included preaward interest. Id. at 435. The trial court found that the award was justified because the dispute has continued for over two years. Id. The trial court concluded that it “would be manifestly unfair to permit the insurance company to dispute a claim and leave the property owners the full burden of loss of the money until the award is approved.” Id. at 435-36. The Court of Appeals agreed, and affirmed the award. Id. at 436. Minnesota District Court’s throughout the state have addressed this exact issue and consistently found that an insurance companies must pay preaward interest on appraisal awards. See Charleswood Ass’n v. Harleysville Ins. Co., Dakota Dist. Ct., No. 19HA-CV-10-7373; Townhomes of Kensington Condominium Ass’n, Inc. v. Amer. Family Mut. Ins. Co., Dakota Cty. Dist. Ct., No. 19HA-CV-14-1883; Featherstone Ridge Townhome Ass’n v. Amer. Family Mut. Ins. Co., Dakota Cty. Dist. Ct., No.
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