The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hurd, District Judge.
MEMORANDUM-DECISION AND ORDER
This action was brought pursuant to the Age Discrimination in
Employment Act ("ADEA"), 29 U.S.C. § 621-34. Plaintiff Carmen
LaPorta ("LaPorta" or plaintiff) has made a post-trial
application for 1) pre-judgment and post-judgment interest, 2)
attorneys fees, costs, and disbursements, 3) adoption of the
jury's award of front pay, and 4) a judgment that defendant
General Electric Company ("GE") willfully violated the ADEA as a
matter of law. GE does not oppose plaintiffs motion for
pre-judgment and post-judgment interest; however, it does oppose
plaintiffs remaining requests. Oral argument was heard on May
11, 2001 in Utica, New York. Decision was reserved.
Plaintiffs John Hogan ("Hogan") and David Rees ("Rees") filed
an age discrimination charge with the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") in July 1996, alleging that GE
violated the ADEA when it conducted an involuntary reduction in
force in July 1995. The EEOC issued right to sue letters in
December 1996. Hogan and Rees then commenced this action,
asserting claims under the ADEA and the New York State Human
Rights Law, ("HRL"), N.Y. Exec. Law § 296(6) (McKinney 1993 &
Supp. 2000). Plaintiffs LaPorta and William Sheehan ("Sheehan")
joined the action in June 1998 as "opt-in" plaintiffs under the
Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. § 216(b). Following
discovery and motion practice, each plaintiffs claims of
disparate impact and disparate treatment age discrimination and
Hogan and Rees' HRL claims proceeded to trial.*fn1
On March 28, 2001, after a thirteen day jury trial, the jury
found in favor of LaPorta on his disparate treatment age
discrimination claim. However, the jury found in favor of GE
with respect to 1) the plaintiffs' common claim of disparate
impact age discrimination, 2) Hogan's, Rees', and Sheahan's
disparate treatment claims, and 3) Hogan's and Rees' HRL claims.
The jury awarded LaPorta $117,000 lost back pay and issued an
advisory verdict of front pay in the amount of $110,000 payable
over seventeen years.
A. Pre-judgment and Post-judgment Interest
Determining the rate to apply for pre-judgment interest is a
matter left to the discretion of the district court. See Endico
Potatoes, Inc. v. CIT Group/Factoring, Inc., 67 F.3d 1063, 1071
(2d Cir. 1995). When calculating pre-judgment interest, courts
in the Second Circuit "often apply the rate of interest provided
in 28 U.S.C. § 1961." Robinson v. Instructional Sys., Inc.,
80 F. Supp.2d 203, 208 (S.D.N.Y. 2000) (citations omitted).*fn2
The plaintiff requests that pre-judgment interest be calculated
according to § 1961. The defendant does not oppose.
The appropriate methodology to calculate the amount of
pre-judgment interest involves three steps. "First, the award
should be divided pro rata over the appropriate time period."
Id. Second, the rate of interest referred to in § 1961 is
applied. Id. Finally, the interest is compounded annually.
In the present case, at the first step, the back pay award of
$117,000 is divided by 70 months (July 1995 through May 2001).
This results in $1,671.43 per month or $20,057.14 per year in
back pay. The rate of interest according to the most recent
publication by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve
System is 3.76 percent. See Federal Reserve Statistical
Release, Selected Interest Rates, at
http://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/H15 (May 21, 2001).
Applying this rate and compounding the interest annually results
in an award of $15,930.01 in prejudgment interest.*fn3 In
addition, the judgment shall reflect a post-judgment interest
rate of 3.76 percent, pursuant to § 1961.
"The starting point for the determination of a reasonable fee
is the calculation of the lodestar amount." Quaratino v.
Tiffany & Co., 129 F.3d 702, 705 (2d Cir. 1997) (citing
Hensley v. Eckerhart, 461 U.S. 424, 433, 103 S.Ct. 1933, 76
L.Ed.2d 40 (1983)). The lodestar amount is calculated by
multiplying the number of hours reasonably expended on the
litigation by a reasonable hourly rate. See Blanchard v.
Bergeron, 489 U.S. 87, 94, 109 S.Ct. 939, 103 L.Ed.2d 67
(1989). "In determining the number of hours reasonably expended
for purposes of calculating the lodestar,
the district court should exclude excessive, redundant or
otherwise unnecessary hours, as well as hours dedicated to
severable unsuccessful claims." Quaratino, 129 F.3d at 705.
However, attorney's fees may be awarded for unsuccessful claim
as well as successful ones where they are "`inextricably
intertwined' and `involve a common core of facts or are based on
related legal theories.'" Reed v. A.W. Lawrence & Co.,
95 F.3d 1170, 1183 (2d Cir. 1996) (quoting Dominic v. Consolidated
Edison Co., 822 F.2d 1249, 1259 (2d Cir. 1987). "Once the
lodestar amount is calculated, there is a strong presumption
that this figure constitutes a reasonable amount." Fauntleroy
v. Staszak, 3 F. Supp.2d 234, 236 (N.D.N.Y. 1998) (citing Grant
v. Martinez, 973 F.2d 96, 101 (2d Cir. 1992); City of
Burlington v. Dague, 505 U.S. 557, 112 S.Ct. 2638, 120 L.Ed.2d
LaPorta seeks $319,607.00 in attorneys' fees and $9,094.74 in
costs and disbursements, for a total of $328,701.74.*fn4 GE
argues that the amount of attorneys' fees requested should be
drastically reduced for several reasons. GE challenges the use
of two attorneys for certain matters where it contends one
attorney would have been sufficient. However, the Second Circuit
has held that there is no per se rule against the use of
multiple attorneys; however, the district court has discretion
to decline to compensate or limit the compensation of
collaborating attorneys. See New York State Ass'n for Retarded
Children, Inc. v. Carey, 711 F.2d 1136, 1146 (2d Cir. 1983). In
light of the complexity ...