may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1996).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Debra J. Kampsula,
Iron Range Rehabilitation and Resources Bureau, et al.,
Filed June 17, 1997
St. Louis County District Court
File No. C995301170
Sean M. Quinn, Falsani, Balmer, Berglund & Peterson, 1200 Alworth Building, 306 West Superior Street, Duluth, MN 55802-1800 (for Appellant)
Larry C. Minton, Law Offices of Larry Minton, Ltd., 320 East Howard Street, Hibbing, MN 55746 (for Respondents)
Considered and decided by Peterson, Presiding Judge, Lansing, Judge, and Crippen, Judge.
This appeal is from a judgment and a denial of a motion for a new trial or additur. Because appellant accepted payment of the judgment and executed a satisfaction of judgment before she filed this appeal, we dismiss the appeal.
After appellant Debra J. Kampsula was injured at Ironworld USA, she began this negligence action against Ironworld and respondents Iron Range Rehabilitation and Resources Bureau and the State of Minnesota. A jury found Ironworld partially at fault and awarded Kampsula damages for past medical expenses and wage loss, but no damages for past pain, disability, embarrassment, or emotional distress. Kampsula filed a motion for a new trial or additur, and the district court denied the motion.
Judgment then was entered in favor of Kampsula pursuant to the jury verdict. On August 8, 1996, Kampsula executed a satisfaction of judgment, stating that the judgment "has been paid and satisfied in full" and authorizing the district court administrator to discharge the judgment. On October 18, 1996, Kampsula filed this appeal.
D E C I S I O N
Respondents argue that Kampsula waived her right to appeal by accepting payment of the judgment. The satisfaction of judgment shows that Kampsula accepted respondents' payment of the judgment. The general rule is that "the acceptance of benefits granted by a judgment precludes the right of appeal therefrom." Mastin v. May, 130 Minn. 281, 283, 153 N.W. 756, 757 (1915); see also Boulevard Del, Inc. v. Stillman, 343 N.W.2d 50, 52 (Minn. App. 1984) ("a judgment which is paid and satisfied of record ceases to exist").
Kampsula argues that an exception for partially satisfied judgments should apply to this case.
[W]here the part of the judgment accepted is independent of and has no relation to the part which is adverse, that which is favorable may be accepted without prejudicing the right of appeal as to that which is adverse.
Mastin, 130 Minn. at 284, 153 N.W. at 757 (damages awarded appellant for use and occupation of his land was not independent of issue whether respondents were entitled to offset for value of improvements made on land by respondents).
Kampsula cites Chaney v. Lieberman, 386 N.W.2d 355 (Minn. App. 1986), rev'd on other grounds 397 N.W.2d 563 (Minn. 1986), and Tatro v. Tatro, 390 N.W.2d 461, 464 (Minn. App. 1986), to support her claim that the exception should apply to this case. In Chaney, the district court offset the jury verdict for medical expenses basic economic loss benefits pursuant to the No-Fault Act. Appellant executed a partial release and satisfaction of judgment, which indicated she intended to appeal from the part of the judgment offsetting the jury verdict. Here, in contrast, Kampsula executed a satisfaction of judgment expressly stating that the judgment "has been paid and satisfied in full" and authorizing the district court administrator to discharge the judgment. Tatro was a dissolution action, a type of action that frequently involves ongoing payment obligations, and there was no claim that the judgment had been satisfied in full.
In Summit Court, Inc. v. Northern States Power Co., 354 N.W.2d 13, 15 (Minn. 1984), the supreme court held that by accepting payment of a judgment and executing a release and satisfaction of that judgment, appellant waived its right to make a claim for prejudgment interest on the damages award underlying the judgment. The court explained:
Summit Court argues that, because its claim for prejudgment interest was completely separate from its property damages claim, the release and satisfaction cannot function to bar its claim for interest. We do not agree. Prejudgment interest is bound up with the underlying damages award. It is part of the damages suffered by plaintiff where the defendant could have readily ascertained the damages and tendered them prior to trial. In this case, the litigation had spanned several years by the time the judgment was satisfied. If Summit Court thought that the damages amount was erroneous because it did not include prejudgment interest, the time to contest it was before accepting payment and executing the release and satisfaction. In Jones v. Atteberry, 77 Ill.App.3d 463, 471, 33 Ill. Dec. 28, 34, 396 N.E.2d 104, 110 (1979), the court held that where the record showed that the judgment had been satisfied and released, the plaintiffs were precluded from recovery of additional interest on the amount of the judgment, because the release barred further action in the case. Satisfaction of a judgment is the last act of a proceeding. As the Colorado Supreme Court noted, "it extinguishes the judgment for all purposes and thereby promotes the interests of certainty and repose." Dooley v. Cal-Cut Pipe & Supply, Inc., 197 Colo. 362, 364, 593 P.2d 360, 362 (1979).
We conclude that under Summit Court and Mastin, Kampsula waived her right to appeal by accepting payment of the judgment and executing the satisfaction of judgment. Although Kampsula only challenges the jury's failure to award her damages for pain and suffering, those damages were part of the damages she suffered as a result of her injury. If Kampsula thought that the damages award was erroneous because it did not include general damages, the time to contest it was before accepting payment of the judgment and executing the satisfaction of judgment. The satisfaction of judgment extinguished the judgment for all purposes and bars further action in the case.