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RALPH MYERS CONTRACTING CORPORATION v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (11/05/81)

decided: November 5, 1981.

RALPH MYERS CONTRACTING CORPORATION, APPELLANT,
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, APPELLEE



No. 81-1-15, Appeal from the Order of Commonwealth Court at No. 758 C.D. 1978, Allowed at No. 6 W.D. Miscellaneous Docket 1981 on March 17, 1981.

COUNSEL

Dusty L. Elias, Hollinshead & Mendelson, Leonard L. Mendelson, Pittsburgh, for appellant.

Kenneth Lee Sable, Asst. Atty. Gen., Ward T. Williams, Chief Counsel, Dept. of Transp., John J. Buchy, Jr., Harrisburg, for appellee.

O'Brien, C. J., and Roberts, Nix, Larsen, Flaherty and Kauffman, JJ. Wilkinson, J., did not participate in the consideration or decision of this case.

Author: Flaherty

[ 496 Pa. Page 199]

OPINION OF THE COURT

The issue presented by this appeal is whether the total amount of an award consisting of principal and interest may be considered, in effect, a new principal amount upon which interest may be calculated from date of entry of the Board awarded judgment until date of payment.

The Board of Arbitration of Claims entered the following award in favor of appellant, Ralph Myers Contracting Corporation ("Myers"):

AND NOW, this 3rd day of June, 1977, the Board awards judgment in the sum of $491,807.55 to Plaintiff Contractor, Ralph Myers Contracting Corporation, and against the Defendant, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Transportation, with interest at the rate of 6% per annum from December 30, 1972.

On August 24, 1977, Myers received payment from appellee, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Transportation ("PennDOT"), of $491,807.55, by check dated August 16, 1977. The following December 12, PennDOT paid Myers interest at the rate of 6% per annum on the sum of $491,807.55 for the period December 30, 1972 to August 19, 1977, in the amount of $136,789.87. (August 19 is the date PennDOT anticipated Myers would have received the first check). Subsequently, PennDOT agreed to pay an additional $404.23 as interest on $491,807.55 from August 19 to August 24, 1977. Myers filed a petition for review in the nature of mandamus in the Commonwealth Court seeking judgment against PennDOT in the amount of $4,517.27. This amount

[ 496 Pa. Page 200]

    represents interest on the unpaid balance to December 12, 1977. Commonwealth Court characterized Myers' claim as one for compound interest and entered judgment for PennDOT on the pleadings, there being no issue of fact to be ...


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