as to give rise to a presumption of a sweetheart deal, even when Penmarine's status as a SNEA subsidiary is taken into account. Furthermore, defendant's contention that Somarelf enjoyed a "currency exchange benefit" because of deferred payment of the tolls is unduly speculative. See supra, pp. 24-25.
Finally, defendant's contentions that Somarelf received an interest benefit from deferred payment of the tolls and that the interest amount of the settlement was overstated do not sufficiently cast doubt on the reasonableness of the settlement. These economic analyses are themselves somewhat speculative. More importantly, ABS's economic defenses do not attack the validity of the $ 166,185 amount of lost Suez Canal differentials. All that is brought into question is whether a $ 278,270.36 settlement would have been reasonable. However, even if ABS's interest rate theories are taken into account, the reasonableness of a $ 200,000 settlement is not disproved, particularly when it is considered that Somarelf may have had a valid claim, based on the time charter warranties, for the additional tolls paid on Suez Canal transits made for Somarelf's own account. Tr. 487-490. As the Court finds that the $ 200,000 settlement was reasonable, Fairfield Maxwell, as agent for the vessel owners, is entitled to tort-based indemnification from ABS.
C. Prejudgment Interest and Costs
In addition to the $ 200,000 amount, plaintiff seeks prejudgment interest from the August 24, 1988 date of Fairfield Maxwell's settlement payment to Somarelf. The settled rule in admiralty cases is that prejudgment interest should be awarded unless there are exceptional circumstances that would make such an award inequitable. Matter of Bankers Trust Co., 658 F.2d 103, 108 (3d Cir. 1981), cert. denied, 456 U.S. 961, 102 S. Ct. 2038, 72 L. Ed. 2d 485 (1982). These exceptional circumstances exist only if there has been: (1) unreasonable delay in prosecuting the claim, (2) a bad faith estimate of damages that precluded settlement, or (3) no actual damages sustained. Id. The Court finds none of these circumstances are present in this case and will therefore award prejudgment interest.
As a prevailing party, plaintiff is entitled to costs under Fed. R. Civ. P. 54(d). The Court will not, however, order that witness fees be taxed in excess of the statutory amounts mentioned in General Rule 23G(1) of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.
Judgment will be entered in favor of plaintiff in the amount of $ 200,000 plus prejudgment interest from August 24, 1988 calculated at the statutory rate. Costs will be awarded to plaintiff as set forth in General Rule 23G(1).
An appropriate Judgment and Order is attached.
Dated: September 1, 1989
JUDGMENT AND ORDER
This matter having been tried by the undersigned without intervention of a jury, and the Court having set forth, pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 52(a), its findings of fact and conclusions of law in an opinion filed herewith,
It is on this 1st day of September, 1989 ORDERED that judgment is entered in favor of plaintiff Fairfield Maxwell in the amount of $ 200,000 plus prejudgment interest calculated from August 24, 1988, and with costs taxed to defendant in the amount set forth in Rule 23G(1) of the General Rules of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.