Appeals Court Cuts 18% Interest Rate Award, Gives Attorney's Fees In Chattanooga Case

Friday, July 4, 2014

The Tennessee Court of Appeals has cut an 18 percent interest rate award and given attorney fees in a Chattanooga case.

Raines Brothers sued H.Michael Chitwood and James Dreaden in a case handled by Circuit Court Judge Jackie Bolton.

The contract action was brought after Mr. Chitwood failed to pay for construction work on a home he was occupying, but was owned by trustee Dreaden.

 Following a bench trial, Judge Bolton awarded Raines a judgment against Mr. Chitwood and Mr. Dreaden (collectively) in the amount of $66,762.71.

She also awarded pre-judgment interest at the rate of 18 percent per year, going back to Aug. 14, 2007.

Judge Bolton denied Raines’s claim for attorney's fees.

The Appeals Court upheld the judgment of $66,762.71 against Mr. Chitwood, but reversed the judgment against Mr. Dreaden.

The court modified the rate of interest from 18 percent per year to 10 percent "in accordance with relevant statutory and case law."

The Appeals Court also reversed the trial court’s denial of Raines’s claim for attorney's fees. It was sent back "for a determination of the proper amount of interest to be charged, as well as a reasonable award of attorney’s fees."

Attorneys R. Wayne Peters and Gary L. Henry represented Chitwood and Dreaden.

Attorneys Sheri A. Fox and Marcie Kiggans Bradley represented Raines Brothers.

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