E.D.N.Y. Weighs in on Intra-Circuit Split over Awardability of Pre-Judgment Interest on Statutory Damages
Per Kingvision Pay-Per-View Ltd. v. Autar, 426 F.Supp.2d 59 (E.D.N.Y. Apr. 13, 2006):
Plaintiff requests that this Court, in its discretion, award pre-judgment interest on the statutory and enhanced damages “at the legal rate.” . . . Although plaintiff's brief makes it appear the awarding of pre-judgment interest is not at all controversial, the district courts in this circuit are split on the issue of whether pre-judgment interest is appropriate in these cases. Some courts, like Ruiz, have granted pre-judgment interest at a rate of nine percent pursuant to N.Y. C.P.L.R. § 5004. See, e.g., Ruiz, 2005 WL 589403, at *3; Morales, 2005 WL 2476264, at *10 (Report and Recommendation of Matsumoto, M.J.); Kingvision Pay-Per-View, Ltd. v. Recio, 02 Civ. 6583(JSM)(RLE), 2003 WL 21383826, at *5 (S.D.N.Y. June 11, 2003) (Report and Recommendation of Ellis, M.J.). However, other courts have declined to award such interest. See, e.g., CSC Holdings, Inc. v. Khrisat, No. 04 CV 8592(LBS)(RLE), 2005 WL 3030838, at *6 (S.D.N.Y. Nov. 8, 2005) (Report and Recommendation of Ellis, M.J.); Garden City Boxing Club, Inc. v. Rosado, No. CV-05-1037 (DLI)(JMA), 2005 WL 3018704, at *5 (E.D.N.Y. Oct. 6, 2005) (Report and Recommendation of Azrack, M.J.); Kingvision Pay-Per-View, Ltd. v. Batista, CV-05-0614 (RJD) (JMA), 2005 WL 2999427, at *5 (E.D.N.Y. Oct. 6, 2005) (Report and Recommendation of Azrack, J.); Kingvision Pay-Per-View Ltd. v. Olivares, 02 Civ. 6588(JES)(RLE), 2004 WL 744226, at *5 (S.D.N.Y. April 5, 2004) (Report and Recommendation of Ellis, M.J.).
Having carefully reviewed the conflicting case law, this Court concurs with Magistrate Judge Azrack's view, expressed in Rosado and Batista, that those cases denying pre-judgment interest are better reasoned. . . . Khrisat and Olivares-both of which are recent cases authored by the same jurist who decided Recio-contain a lengthy and persuasive analysis of why pre-judgment interest should not be available. In Olivares, which is cited with approval in Rosado and Batista, Magistrate Judge Ellis reasoned that pre-judgment interest was not recoverable because New York law does not award pre-judgment interest on punitive damages, and statutory damages under § 605 are “analogous to punitive damages in that they are designed to deter others from similar infringing activity.” Olivares, 2004 WL 744226, at *5.