Truserve Corp. v. Morgan's Tool & Supply (majority)Annotate this Case
The Supreme Court granted this appeal to consider whether a trial court could refuse to award contractual interest to the prevailing party in a contract dispute based on a finding of dilatory conduct by the prevailing party. Appellee Morgan's Tool & Supply (MTS) became delinquent on two accounts it had with TruServ, and after the parties were unable to agree on a payment plan to bring the accounts current, TruServ advised MTS by letter that it was terminating its Retail Member Agreement with MTS. TruServ filed a complaint against MTS alleging breach of contract and unjust enrichment. The trial court concluded MTS had breached its agreement with TruServ by failing to pay for the merchandise it had ordered and received. The court awarded TruServ damages plus costs and counsel fees. The court concluded however that "the decision of whether to award prejudgment interest is at the discretion of the court," and declined to award interest on the basis that TruServ was dilatory in prosecuting its claim. Upon review, the Supreme Court held that a trial court may not refuse to award interest to the prevailing party when the right to interest has been expressly reserved under the terms of the contract. Thus, the Court remanded this matter to the trial court for recalculation of its award in favor of TruServ.