This application, made by the plaintiff, after the jury had rendered its verdict in his favor in an action for personal injuries and property damage resulting from an automobile accident, seeks the addition of interest to the verdict and the allowance of mileage fees paid to a witness for the plaintiff.
1. CPLR 5001 has eliminated the dispute as to whether interest is recoverable as a matter of right or discretion in cases of negligent injury to property. The dictum in Flamm v. Noble (296 N. Y. 262, 268) has been legislated into law by section 5001 so that the addition of interest to a jury's verdict for property damage is now a matter of right. (See Legislative Studies and Reports in McKinney's Cons. Laws of N. Y., Book 7B, § 5001, p. 526, and 5 Weinstein-Korn-Miller, N. Y. Civ. Prac., par. 5001.05.)
Under subdivision (c) of section 5001 the court has authority to fix the date for the computation of interest as of the date of the occurrence of the accident.
The question here is whether the verdict sufficiently distinguishes the part allocated by the jury to property damage to enable the court, without speculation, to add interest to that part of the verdict. "Reasonable certainty" is the criterion. (Flamm v. Noble, supra).
The defendant concedes in its answering affidavit that the jury brought in two verdicts, one "a verdict for a cause of action for personal injuries for $1000" and "a second verdict for the sum of $570.85."
The verdict for $570.85 embraces not only property damage but special damages also for medical and hospital services which, as established by the exhibits admitted into evidence, were as follows:
Courtesy Service Center, Inc. (Plaintiff's
Exhibit 1 in evidence -- paid bill for auto
Katz Auto Collision Works (Plaintiff's
Exhibit 2 in evidence -- paid bill for auto
Knickerbocker Hospital (Plaintiff's Exhibit
3 in evidence -- partially paid bill for