Appeal Dismissed as Interlocutory Since Entry of Judgment Still Pending

Supreme Court of Delaware, May 22, 2020

After a jury trial found in favor of the plaintiff in this asbestos matter, defendant Ford Motor Co. filed a motion for a new trial or in the alternative for remittitur. The trial court denied Ford’s motion. Thereafter, the plaintiff filed a motion for entry of judgment, seeking the award of pre- and post-judgment interest under New Mexico law. While the plaintiff’s motion was pending, Ford filed a notice of appeal from the court’s March 3, 2020 Order denying Ford’s motion for new trial. In Ford’s notice of appeal, Ford noted the plaintiff’s motion for entry of judgment remained pending.

In response to the court’s request for Ford to show cause why the appeal should not be considered interlocutory under Supreme Court Rule 42, Ford stated that a pending motion for costs alone does not delay the finality of a judgment on the merits and, therefore, the Superior Court’s order denying the motion for a new trial is final and appealable. The plaintiff argued since the plaintiff’s motion for entry of judgment is pending, the Superior Court’s order is not final. The court agreed that the March 3, 2020 Order is not final, finding “that in this case, the Superior Court’s opinion denying Ford’s motion for new trial is not a final judgment because the Superior Court has not yet ruled on Plaintiff’s motion for entry of judgment.” Therefore, Ford’s appeal was dismissed.

Read the full case decision here.