This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1998).

 

STATE OF MINNESOTA

IN COURT OF APPEALS

C9-00-616

 

Bruce Lieske,

Respondent,

 

vs.

 

Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company,

Appellant.

 

Filed November 7, 2000

Affirmed in part, Reversed in part, and Remanded

Kalitowski, Judge

 

Hennepin County District Court

File No. PI99018024

 

James S. Ballentine, Peter W. Riley, Schwebel, Goetz & Sieben, P.A., 5120 IDS Center, Minneapolis, MN 55402-2246 (for respondent)

 

Jay A. Tentinger, 801 Park Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55404 (for appellant)

 

            Considered and decided by Anderson, Presiding Judge, Kalitowski, Judge, and Shumaker, Judge.

U N P U B L I S H E D   O P I N I O N

KALITOWSKI, Judge

            Appellant Farm Bureau Insurance Company challenges a district court confirmation of an arbitration award in favor of respondent.  Appellant contends the district court erred in (1) impermissibly modifying an arbitration order by ordering it to pay respondent directly for his medical expenses; and (2) ordering it to pay postjudgment interest on the arbitration award in the amount of 15%.  We affirm the confirmation of the arbitration award, reverse the interest award in part, and remand.

D E C I S I O N

I.

            An appeal from an arbitration decision is subject to limited review and the reviewing court must exercise “[e]very reasonable presumption” in favor of the arbitration’s finality and validity.  State, Office of State Auditor v. Minnesota Ass’n of Prof’l Employees, 504 N.W.2d 751, 754 (Minn. 1993).  A district court shall confirm an arbitration award upon application of a party unless grounds are presented for vacating, modifying, or correcting the award.  Minn. Stat. § 572.18 (1998).

            Appellant contends the district court improperly modified the September 28, 1999, arbitration award when it ordered appellant to pay respondent directly for his medical expenses.  We disagree.  Although appellant claims to have a statutory right to make direct payments to medical providers, the arbitration award at issue was in favor of respondent, not medical providers who were not parties to the arbitration proceeding.  Therefore, in ordering appellant to pay respondent directly, the district court properly confirmed the arbitration award and did not modify it.


II.

            An award of postjudgment interest is limited to interest allowed under Minn. Stat. § 549.09, subd. 2 (1998).  Motschenbacher v. New Hampshire Ins. Group, 402 N.W.2d 119, 125 (Minn. App. 1987) (limiting award of postjudgment interest on no-fault claim to that provided by Minn. Stat. § 549.09, and reversing trial court’s award of interest under Minn. Stat. § 65B.54, subd. 2), review denied (Minn. Apr. 29, 1987).

Appellant first contends the district court’s entire award of interest should be reversed.  We disagree.  A district court does not err when it assesses interest at a rate of 15% from the date of the arbitration award until the date judgment is entered.  Liberty Mutual Ins. Co. v. Sankey, 605 N.W.2d 411, 414 (Minn. App. 2000), review denied (Apr. 18, 2000).  A claimant is entitled to receive statutory interest on overdue payments for basic economic loss benefits at the rate of 15% per annum.  Minn. Stat. § 65B.54, subds. 1, 2 (1998).  Payments are overdue if not paid within 30 days after the insurer receives reasonable proof of the fact and amount of loss realized.  Id., subd. 1. 

Here, appellant had reasonable proof of the fact and amount of insured’s loss, but refused to compensate him directly for his medical expenses.  The district court acted within its discretion in determining that the checks appellant made payable to respondent’s medical providers were inconsistent with the arbitration award and do not qualify as payment.  Thus, we conclude the district court did not err when it assessed 15% interest from the date of the arbitration award until the date of judgment.

Appellant also contends the district court’s award of postjudgment interest in the amount of 15% was excessive.  We agree.  After judgment is entered, an insured is entitled only to postjudgment interest under Minn. Stat. § 549.09, subd. 2.  Motschenbacher, 402 N.W.2d at 125.  The judgment interest rate for the year 2000 is five percent.  Minn. Stat. Ann. § 549.09 (West 2000).  Thus, the district court erred when it awarded the insured postjudgment interest at the rate of 15%, instead of 5%.  Moreover, the district court should have calculated postjudgment interest from the April 28, 2000, judgment rather than the May 18, 2000, amended order because the amended order did not substantively affect the interest award.  We therefore remand this matter to the district court for an appropriate calculation of postjudgment interest consistent with this opinion. 

Affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded.