Must Love Dogs: DE Superior Court Rules Commutation Is Enforceable

Must Love Dogs: DE Superior Court Rules Commutation Is Enforceable

Today we have a guest blogger, Cheryl Ward of Franklin & Prokopic.  I am especially grateful to have a guest for what will be for most a short work week.  Pictured here is Cheryl’s dog Shamrock.  And while we all know I am not a “dog person”, I have to respect the fact that Cheryl loves this dog no doubt every bit as much as I love my cats Nutella Grace and Cruiser T (I do, however, think my cats are much better looking).














So what do we have? A little appellate gem Kaneshia Johnson v. Food Lion, C.A. No. N13A-08-010 CLS (Del. Super. April 14, 2014) and hot off the press, at that!

I will allow Cheryl to explain it:


“Interesting case from the Superior Court in which they upheld the IAB’s Motion to Enforce the Commutation Settlement. Claimant was first represented by Brian Lutness, after several negotiations we reach a deal. Claimant backs off, fires Brian and goes to [Gary] Nitsche. He files Petition for benefits, I file Legal Hearing for Motion to Enforce Settlement. Brian testifies at the Legal that the claimant gave him authority for the commutation.  She [claimant] testifies she never discussed it with him, then she did but --did not give authority-- then she might have talked to him (the claimant’s ever changing story that the Board members actually called her out on her “inconsistencies”). Following an Appeal, the Superior Court opines there is substantial evidence to support its findings that there was a meeting of the minds as to a settlement with commutation and resignation of employment.  The Court further finds the commutation was in the claimant’s best interest of the claimant as supported by substantial evidence of continued denial and uncertainty of the claim.

I think it is a useful decision with the ever changing minds of claimants and shows that the switching of attorneys does not void a previously agreed upon settlement.”


I applaud this result.  First, because no one gets anything over on Cheryl.  Second, because if Brian Lutness says he had authority to settle, that is good enough for me.  Third, because I have a similar issue coming up on Motion Day tomorrow so I am mighty thankful to Cheryl for doing my hearing prep for me.  Yep, it’s all good.

Irreverently yours,



 Visit Delaware Detour & Frolic, a law blog by Cassandra Roberts


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