Entry of Judgment: Scott v. Universal 2

Kopec Law Firm

This Maryland Medical Malpractice Blog discusses other Maryland personal injury cases that involve issues that also come up in medical malpractice. The Appellate Court of Maryland issued an unreported opinion in Scott v. Universal Protection Service, LLC (October 20, 2023). In Part 1 of this blog series, I addressed the issue of the number of joint tortfeasors in a settlement to determine the amount owed by a party that did not settle. In Part 2, I address the issue of entry of judgment.

The plaintiff brought a case in the Circuit Court for Howard County after she tripped and fell at a mall on a floor mat that was allegedly misplaced. She broke her femur. (Op. at 1). The plaintiff then sued the mall, management, janitor, and security. The mall, management, and janitor settled with the plaintiff. (Id. at 1-2).

The plaintiff then went to trial against the security company and obtained a $750,000 jury verdict. The plaintiff contended three joint tortfeasors, and security contended four. The circuit court found there were four and entered judgment accordingly. However, it declined to predate the judgment to the date of the verdict. (Id. at 4).

Entry of Judgment

The procedure for entry of judgment is in Rule 2-601. The Appellate Court stated: 

Entry of Judgment
Entry of Judgment

“Section (a) of which, captioned in part “Prompt Entry,” provides, in relevant part, that, upon a verdict of a jury allowing recovery of a specified amount of money, ‘the clerk shall forthwith prepare, sign, and enter the judgment unless the court orders otherwise.’”

The jury returned its verdict on May 27, 2022. However, the circuit court still had to decide the disputed issue of how many tortfeasors, which would determine how much money the court would enter in its judgment. The circuit court decided the entry of judgment issue on June 20, 2022. (Id. at 8).

A circuit court is entitled to enter a judgment nunc pro tunc to the verdict date to commence the post-judgment interest running. See Mona v. Mona Electric, 176 Md. App. 672, 730-31 (2007) and Aronson v. Fetridge, 181 Md. App. 650, 683-687 (2008).

The Appellate Court also stated:

“Apart from resolving a post-judgment motion filed by Allied, which was denied, the one-month delay in this case was for the legally required determination of an appropriate reduction in the verdict due to the existence of other joint tortfeasors, and we see no reason why appellant should be denied post-judgment interest because of that necessary delay. The only way to achieve that result – a fair and permissive result – is to date the judgment nunc pro tunc from the date of the verdict.” (Id. at 9).

Commentary By the Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyer

The Appellate Court’s rationale on entry of judgment is persuasive and helpful to medical malpractice plaintiffs. Maryland has a 10 percent post-judgment interest rate. CJP 11-107. Interest rates have been low for over two decades, and the 10% post-judgment interest rate has significantly benefited plaintiffs who must wait for payment pending post-trial motions or appeals.

It significantly adds up on appeals. An appeal to the Appellate Court of Maryland can take one and a half years to complete. For a $1,000,000 medical malpractice verdict, 10% for 18 months totals $150,000.

The Maryland medical malpractice lawyer should specifically use these authorities to ensure the circuit court enters judgment as of the verdict date. Suppose the circuit court has entered judgment on a later date. In that case, the lawyer can file a motion to alter or amend judgment within ten days of the entry of judgment. Rule 2-534. Alternatively, the lawyer also can file a motion for the circuit court to exercise its revisory power. Rule 2-535

When it is time for the defense to pay the judgment, the medical malpractice lawyer should convey to the defense the amount of post-judgment interest, including the per diem amount. The lawyer should also state that the defense must pay interest through the date the lawyer receives the check, or the lawyer will only provide an order of satisfaction once the defense does.

Mark Kopec is a top-rated Baltimore medical malpractice lawyer. Contact us at 800-604-0704 to speak directly with Attorney Kopec in a free consultation. The Kopec Law Firm is in Baltimore and helps clients throughout Maryland and Washington, D.C. Thank you for reading the Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyer Blog.

What Our Clients Say About Us

At the Kopec Law Firm, we are grateful that satisfied clients express their appreciation!

Mark is a knowledgeable and empathetic lawyer who speaks directly and concisely to evaluate your problem. He doesn't use attorney jargon that confuses people, rather he talks clearly. Although he couldn't help me with my situation, the consultation I had was productive because he answered my questions and gave me some clarity.

Shahnaz in Ellicott City

Dear Mark, I just wanted to express my gratitude for your dedication to my case. As you know, it has been a long and upsetting process for me, which would have been a great deal longer had it not been for the hours you put in helping me with this emotional roller coaster. Thank you again.

Shannon T. in Anne Arundel County

Dear Mark, thank you so much for your help and kindness. You provided the guidance and assistance we needed to obtain some understanding in loss of our child. We will never forget the professional and personal service provided. If anyone is in need of legal representation, I will certainly send them your way. God bless.

Kim C. in Cecil County

I wanted to say thank you for spending time with me regarding my questions about legal issues. Mere words cannot really express my gratitude. You seem to truly care about people.

Client in Baltimore City

Dear Mr. Mark, I’m truly grateful to have had you work on my son’s case. You were up front at all times and were on key every step of the way. I will always recommend your firm. Thank you so much for helping my son. P.S. Every time my son sees you on TV, he says “Mom, that’s my lawyer, Mr. Mark.” 🙂 Thank you again. You did an excellent job on the...

K.N. in Baltimore City

Dear Mark, we want to thank you for all the hard work and time your firm put in our case. You took the time to listen to us and research our case. You were honest and up front regarding the case. You responded to questions and concerns quickly. We would highly recommend your firm and services to anyone who is in need of legal representation. We...

Rebecca T. in Prince George’s County

Super Awesome team and staff! Worked with them for a case they handled for my grandchild about 10yrs ago! Would definitely use them again! I recommend them to everyone I know. Could never thank them enough! Very thorough and knowledgeable! Always kept us in the loop throughout the entire process!!!!

Letha C. in Prince George’s County

Mark explained everything in detail and brought clarity to all of my concerns.

Doris in Edgwater

I am very happy and thankful for your help. You responded very quickly. I am very happy to recommend you.

Linda in Chevy Chase
  1. 1 Free Consultation
  2. 2 Talk to a Lawyer
  3. 3 No Fee Unless You Win
Fill out the contact form or call us at 800-604-0704 to schedule your consultation.

Send Us a Message