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United States District Court for the District of Kansas
February 10, 2002, Decided
Case No. 01-2324-KHV
[*593] MEMORANDUM & ORDER
This case comes before the court on the motion of plaintiff Tammy Turner for sanctions against defendant Stanhope Express, Inc. (Stanhope) (doc. 23). The court has reviewed plaintiff's memorandum in support (doc. 24), Stanhope's memorandum in opposition (doc. 28), and plaintiff's reply (doc. 38). For the reasons explained below, plaintiff's motion is denied.
In compliance with the scheduling order entered in this case, the parties scheduled a mediation for December 13, 2001. On November 26, 2001, defense counsel sent a letter to plaintiff's counsel requesting permission to have the claims handler with settlement authority participate in the mediation by telephone. On November 27, 2001, plaintiff's counsel [**2] sent a response letter, objecting "vehemently" because he believed the mediation would be a "waste of time" if defendant did not send someone to the mediation with settlement authority. Plaintiff's counsel further stated: "If you insist on not participating fully, I would suggest that we contact the Court immediately so that this issue may be resolved well in advance of the mediation." Plaintiff's counsel heard nothing further from defense counsel about this issue.
On December 13, 2001, defense counsel came to the mediation and was accompanied [*594] by Scott Glow, a representative of defendant's liability insurance carrier, Carolina Casualty Insurance Company. Before the mediation, Carolina Casualty decided that it would give Glow authority to pay up to $ 25,000 to settle all of plaintiff's claims. When the mediation commenced, plaintiff's counsel communicated that the mediation was being conducted only to settle plaintiff's personal injury claims, but not the potential invasion of privacy claim plaintiff has not yet sued upon. Accordingly, Glow called Tony Sarchet, a representative in Carolina Casualty's home office, and Sarchet told Glow that he was authorized to pay only $ 20,000 [**3] if the settlement would not effect a release of plaintiff's invasion of privacy claim. Mediation proceeded, and the parties reached an impasse. Plaintiff's last demand was $ 32,500, and defendant's final offer was $ 20,000.
Plaintiff now seeks sanctions against defendant for its failure to send a representative to the mediation who had authority to settle plaintiff's claims.
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205 F.R.D. 592 *; 2002 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2374 **; 52 Fed. R. Serv. 3d (Callaghan) 1055
TAMMY TURNER, Plaintiff, v. JOSEPH C. YOUNG and STANHOPE EXPRESS, INC., Defendants.
Disposition: [**1] Plaintiff's motion for sanctions against defendant denied.
mediation, settlement authority, magistrate judge, settlement conference, parties, settle, attendance, session, sanctions, facilitated, alternative dispute resolution, plaintiff's claim, settlement
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