The plaintiffs in this case sued for unpaid wages under?RCW? ?49.46.?????? During? ?litigation,? ?the defendant made a CR 68 offer of $125,000 plus costs and reasonable attorneys fees. ?The plaintiffs rejected ?the ?offer.??? ?At ?trial, ?plaintiffs ?won ?a $106,000 verdict plus $33,053.68 in prejudgment interest, for a total of $139,053.68. ?The court ruled that the judgment was more favorable to plaintiffs than the CR 68 offer, so that they were the prevailing parties under Rule 68.?? The court also held that costs under RCW 49.46 included not just statutory costs but also expert witness fees; depositions and transcripts not used at trial; the mediation fee, postage, phone, fax and copying. The court distinguished Hume v. American Disposal, 124 Wn.2d 656 (1994), which allowed only? statutory? costs? in a common? law? wrongful discharge case.?? The court ruled that a claim for unpaid wages is by definition liquidated so that prejudgment interest is appropriate, regardless of whether? there? is? a? dispute? about? the? number? of hours?? the?? employee?? worked.???? ?McConnell?? v. Mothers Work Inc.,No. 23139-9-III (Feb. 7, 2006; Sweeney, Brown, Baker).
Prejudgment Interest Must be Calculated in Determining Value of Judgment Under CR 68; ?Costs? Award to Prevailing Plaintiffs Under RCW 49.46 Should be Read Expansively
Feb 7, 2006