Bean v. Pacific Coast Elevator Corp.Annotate this Case
Eric Lazear, an employee of appellant Pacific Coast Elevator Corporation (Pacific Coast), ran his vehicle into appellant Daniel Bean's truck while Bean was stopped at a red light. Bean suffered serious injuries as a result of the accident and sued Pacific Coast. A jury found Pacific Coast negligent and awarded Bean $1.2 million in damages. The trial court denied Pacific Coast's motion for new trial, granted Bean's motion for prejudgment interest, and awarded Bean costs. The court entered judgment in the amount of $1,306,424.74 in Bean's favor and ordered prejudgment interest to be calculated on the entire judgment. On appeal, Pacific Coast argued that the jury's noneconomic damage award was excessive, that the trial court erred in instructing the jury on the basic speed law, and that Bean's counsel committed misconduct during the trial. Pacific Coast further contended that the trial court abused its discretion in finding that Bean's Code of Civil Procedure section 9981 pretrial offer to settle was reasonable and made in good faith. Finally, Pacific Coast claims that the trial court erred in awarding prejudgment interest on costs. In the published portion of this opinion, the Court of Appeal agreed that the trial court erred in awarding prejudgment interest on costs, and in the unpublished portion of this opinion, the Court rejected the remainder of Pacific Coast's claims. Accordingly, the Court reversed the judgment only insofar as it awards prejudgment interest on costs and remanded the matter to the trial court with directions to recalculate prejudgment interest.