RAINES BROTHERS, INC. v. H. MICHAEL CHITWOOD ET AL. - Articles

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Posted by: Amelia Ferrell Knisely on May 24, 2016

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Sheri A. Fox, Lookout Mountain, Georgia, for the appellant, Raines Brothers, Inc.

Attorneys 2:

R. Wayne Peters and Gary L. Henry, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellees, H. Michael Chitwood and James S. Dreaden.

Judge(s): FRIERSON

This is the second appeal in this contract action, which stems from the failure of the defendant, H. Michael Chitwood, to pay for construction work performed by the plaintiff, Raines Brothers, Inc. (“Raines”). The work was performed on a home occupied by Mr. Chitwood but owned by a trustee, James Dreaden, who was also named as a defendant in the original action. Following a bench trial, the trial court awarded Raines a judgment against Mr. Chitwood and Mr. Dreaden (collectively, “Defendants”) in the amount of $66,762.71. The trial court also awarded prejudgment interest at the rate of eighteen percent per annum, beginning August 14, 2007. The trial court denied Raines's claim for attorney's fees. Following a timely appeal by Defendants, this Court determined that Raines adequately proved its entitlement to the trial court's judgment of $66,762.71 against Mr. Chitwood but reversed the trial court's judgment against Mr. Dreaden. This Court modified the trial court's award of the rate of interest from eighteen percent per annum to ten percent in accordance with relevant statutory and case law. This Court also reversed the trial court's denial of Raines's claim for attorney's fees pursuant to the parties' contract and remanded for a determination of the proper amount of interest to be charged, as well as a reasonable award of attorney's fees. Following remand, the trial court awarded attorney's fees and expenses in the amount of $217,211.89, deducting $66,368.30 from the fees claimed because no request for fees was made during the first appeal. Calculating simple interest at ten percent per annum, the court found that the proper amount of interest to be awarded on the principal balance was $40,613.98. The court also ruled that postjudgment interest would accrue on the original judgment at the statutory rate beginning September 5, 2013, until the balance was paid and on the attorney's fee award from May 1, 2015, until the balance was paid. Raines has appealed. Discerning no reversible error, we affirm.