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TALMADGE STUBBLEFIELD v. JESCO

FEBRUARY 27, 1985

TALMADGE STUBBLEFIELD
v.
JESCO, INC., ET AL.



ON PETITION FOR REHEARING ON MOTION TO CLARIFY OPINION

EN BANC.

ROY NOBLE LEE, PRESIDING JUSTICE, FOR THE COURT:

The Circuit Court of Lee County entered judgment in favor of Talmadge F. Stubblefield for 1.2 million dollars on May 26, 1981, after a jury verdict in that amount, for personal injuries sustained by Stubblefield. Seven (7) months later, the circuit judge set aside that judgment and entered a JNOV in favor of Jesco, Inc., et al. [Jesco]. On September 26, 1984, this Court reversed and rendered the JNOV and reinstated the original judgment. Petition for rehearing by Jesco was denied.

 Jesco paid the judgment in the sum of 1.2 million dollars, but declined to pay interest thereon. Thus, a controversy arose between Jesco, who claimed no interest was due, and Stubblefield, who contended that interest was due on the original judgment entered in the Circuit Court of Lee

 County on May 26, 1981, which amounts to $255,360. Stubblefield then filed a motion to clarify the opinion, and, on December 19, 1984, this Court, acting through Justice Dan Lee, entered the following order:

 The Court, sitting en banc, being of the opinion that the Motion is well taken does hereby order that the Court's opinion in Talmadge F. Stubblefield v. Jesco, Inc., Et Al., (No. 54,242, decided 9-26-84, not yet reported) be modified so as to include the following at the end of the last paragraph:

 Interest on the judgment is hereby assessed against Jesco, Inc., at the legal rate of 8% per annum from the date of the entry of the original judgment in this cause, May 26, 1981.

 IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the Clerk of this Court cause the above described modification of the original opinion in this cause to be recorded with the Court's opinion in the Official Reporter of this Court's decisions.

 Jesco contends (1) the decision of this Court changes existing law in Mississippi by holding that an appellant is entitled to interest while his case is on appeal, although the judgment in effect is adverse to the appellant; (2) the order of December 19, 1984 modifying (clarifying) the decision of this Court creates a new appellate procedure whereby previous decisions of the Court can be substantively modified through motion to the Court after all petitions for rehearing have been denied; and (3)" far-reaching changes which result from this Court's unpublished, unexplained order, is a trap, "and the" appellate procedure and new law regarding when a judgment bears interest deserve a published opinion so that all litigants will have notice of the change in the law. "There is no merit in the contentions advanced by Jesco. For the benefit of the Bench and Bar, the law and procedure relative to this question will be briefly stated.

 Jesco relies upon Grice v. Central Electric Power Association, 230 Miss. 437, 96 So. 2d 909 (1957), *fn1 for the proposition that no interest should be allowed in the present case, stating in its brief that" The Grice case has never been overruled or modified by this Court and remains as the only case decided by the Mississippi Supreme Court wherein the issue of interest under circumstances where j.n.o.v. has been granted by the lower court and reversed in this Court has been

 addressed and decided. "In Grice, the Court stated:

 The judgment of the lower court is likewise reversed in the instant case, and a judgment will be here entered in favor of the plaintiffs for the sum of $60,000, with interest at the legal rate of six percent per annum from the 16th day of March 1956, the date of the judgment which was based upon the verdict of the jury in the lower court. 230 Miss. at 455, 92 So. 2d at 455.

 On suggestion of error, the Court, quoting from Johnston v. Canton Flying Services, Inc., 209 Miss. 226, 46 So. 2d 533 (1950), noted that this Court reversed the action of the lower court and entered judgment here in favor of the original plaintiff for the amount of the verdict with interest at the legal rate of six percent (6%) from the date of the verdict, but that no suggestion of error was filed in Johnston and the allowance of interest from the date of the verdict was erroneous. The Court stated in Grice, on suggestion of error, that interest shall be allowed not on verdicts, but on judgments and that in Grice there was no valid judgment at the time the verdict was rendered nor thereafter until the decision in Grice on March 4, 1957, in this Court. It was held, therefore, that ...


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