Thursday, November 4, 2010

Court reviews trial court's denial to enforce a settlement agreement in a wrongful death case.

CATHERINE M. LOVE, as next friend and natural mother of Savannah Love, a minor child and daughter of Rex Bryan Peterson, deceased, ET. AL. v. DORIS LAKINS WOODS (Tenn. Ct. App. November 4, 2010)

This case arises from the trial court's denial of Plaintiff/Appellants' motion to enforce a settlement agreement. Appellants, the surviving children of decedent, filed a wrongful death claim against the Appellee herein, the driver of a car involved in the accident that killed decedent. During negotiations, Appellee/Defendant's attorney proposed a settlement in the amount of Appellee's insurance policy limit, which Appellee's attorney misstated to be $100,000, when, in fact, the policy limit was $50,000.

The trial court denied Appellants' motion to enforce the $100,000 settlement finding that the settlement was not enforceable, as it failed to contain certain material terms of the agreement. We conclude that the trial court failed to determine whether an agency relationship existed between the Appellee's attorney and the insurance company and also whether the insurance company is required to be a party to this litigation. Vacated and remanded.

Opinion may be found at:

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