The opinion of the court was delivered by: Timothy M. Burgess United States District Judge
FRANCESCA EISENBRANDT; CONNIE EISENBRANDT; and SCOTT EISENBRANDT,
[Re: Motion at Docket No. 162]
At Docket No. 162 Plaintiff Integon Preferred Insurance Co. ("Integon") timely filed a motion to Alter or Amend the Judgment under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e). In its motion, Integon raises two issues: (1) that the Court incorrectly awarded prejudgment interest under California law; and (2) that court erred in not applying the financial responsibility liability cap of California law under the decision of the California Supreme Court in Barrera v. State Farm Ins. Co.*fn1 The Court has determined that it may deny the motion without a response from the Intervenors.
There are four grounds upon which a Rule 59(e) motion may be granted:
(1) the motion is necessary to correct manifest errors of law or fact
upon which the judgment is based; (2) the
moving party presents newly discovered or previously unavailable
evidence; (3) the motion is
necessary to prevent manifest injustice; or (4) there is an
intervening change in controlling law.*fn2
A Rule 59 motion may not be used to relitigate old matters, or to raise arguments that could have been raised, or present evidence that could have been presented, prior to the entry of judgment.*fn3
To justify an amendment to a judgment based upon newly discovered evidence, the movant must show that the evidence: was discovered after the judgment, could not be discovered earlier through due diligence, and is of such a magnitude that had the court known of it earlier, the outcome would likely have been different.*fn4
In its motion, Integon does not present any newly discovered or previously unavailable evidence nor does Integon cite any intervening change in the controlling law. Indeed, except perhaps for the issue of prejudgment interest, Integon's motion is nothing more than a rehash of the arguments that it either raised or could have raised prior to the entry of the judgment.
The Court agrees that post-judgment interest in this case is controlled by federal, not state, law.*fn5 This Court, however, properly awarded pre-judgment interest, i.e., interest prior to the entry of judgment in this case, under California law.*fn6 It did not specify at what rate post-judgment interest, i.e., interest after entry of judgment in this case, would accrue as that rate is set by statute.*fn7 That rate cannot be determined until such time as judgment is entered and is a clerical function performed by the Clerk of the Court. Thus, there was no manifest error of law or fact in the decision and judgment of this Court.
Financial Responsibility Cap
In its post-trial briefing in response to this Court's Order, Integon specifically took the position that the financial responsibility cap under Barrera was moot.*fn8
Thus, even though Ms. Isztojka and Mr. Mangelli disagreed in their testimony over what he told her that Ian Isztojka's driving record meant,n4 the investigation took ...