Thank You For Submiting Feedback!
The enforceability of settlement agreements is determined according to principles of contract law. In the case of a disputed oral contract, what was said and done by the parties as well as what was intended by what was said and done by them are questions of fact.
Appellee Dr. Nancy Yaros brought a negligence action against appellant, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania, after she fell at one of its ice-skating rinks. Appellant offered appellee to settle for $ 750,000. Appellee's attorney informed appellant's attorney that appellee would accept $ 1.5 million in settlement up until the time she testified, after which she would not settle for any amount. Appellee testified. No settlement was reached at that time. Prior to the jury deliberations, appellee moved to enforce the settlement offer, which the lower court granted. On appeal, appellant challenged the decision, arguing that the time for the acceptance of the settlement offer had lapsed.
Was the settlement offer enforceable in the instant case?
On appeal, the court held that the enforceability of the settlement agreements would be determined according to principles of contract law. The question of how long the settlement offer remained open was a question of fact for the jury, which determined that no time condition was ever placed on the settlement offer. The court did not disturb the jury's finding that the settlement agreement was enforceable.