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United States: Claimant’s Unilateral Mistake Cannot Defeat Settlement and Release

December 14, 2018 (1 min read)

Where a former employee, represented by counsel, sought workers’ compensation benefits and later settled his claim for $3,800, executing a settlement agreement and general release, it was inconsistent for him later to argue that the release should be disregarded because its execution had been a unilateral mistake, held a federal district court, sitting in Florida. The former employer raised the release as a defense when the former employee/plaintiff filed a civil action against it alleging that the defendant had failed to reasonably accommodate the employee, as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Although the district court did find some of the facts surrounding the execution of the settlement agreement and release disturbing, the court held the fact also remained that the plaintiff presented the settlement documents to a workers’ compensation court, swearing that they were understood in his native language and proper. Now he swears to the contrary. The court found the prevailing authority dictated that the plaintiff could not proceed.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law (LexisNexis).

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance.

See Popa-Verdecia v. Marco Trucking, Inc., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 208636 (M.D. Fla. Dec. 11, 2018)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 132.06.

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law