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FANNY LEE BROWN, Individually and as Guardian Ad Litem for SCOTTIE NOBLES, a minor v. FLOYD TRAVIS MILLSAP

No. 640A03

FILED: 2 APRIL 2004

Costs_attorney fees_amount of judgment_costs and prejudgment interest_addition to compensatory damages

    The decision of the Court of Appeals that the trial court improperly added court costs of $435 and prejudgment interest of $669.76 to the jury verdict of $9,500 in compensatory damages to find that the judgment obtained exceeded the $10,000 limit for awarding attorney fees under N.C.G.S. § 6-21.1 is reversed for the reason stated in the dissenting opinion that, although the trial court erred in adding discretionary court costs to the verdict, prejudgment interest of $669.76 should have been added because it is automatically added to the award to compensate the prevailing party, and the $10,000 limit was thus exceeded even if court costs are not added to the verdict.

    Appeal pursuant to N.C.G.S. § 7A-30(2) from the decision of a divided panel of the Court of Appeals, 161 N.C. App. ___, 588 S.E.2d 71 (2003), reversing a judgment signed 28 September 2002 nunc pro tunc by Judge Wiley F. Bowen in Superior Court, Columbus County. Heard in the Supreme Court 17 March 2004.
    T. Craig Wright for plaintiff-appellee.

    Russ, Worth, Cheatwood & Hancox, by Philip H. Cheatwood, for defendant- appellant.

    Cranfill, Sumner & Hartzog, L.L.P., by Robert H. Griffin and Jaye E. Bingham, on behalf of Nationwide Insurance Company, amicus curiae.

    PER CURIAM.

    For the reasons stated in the dissenting opinion, we reverse the decision of the Court of Appeals.
    REVERSED.

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