Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Third DCA Finds Proposal for Settlement Enforceable

In Harris Specialty Chemicals, Inc. v. Punto Azul S.A. de C.V. (3D08-1340) the Third DCA reversed the circuit court's order that found a proposal for settlement to be ambiguous.
A proposal may be made by or to any party or parties and by or to any combination of parties properly identified in the proposal. See Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.442(c)(3); see also § 768.79, Fla. Stat. (2007). The rule does not require that a settlement proposal cover all claims between all parties involved, or that it settle all claims between the parties to the proposal. Jacksonville Golfair, Inc. v. Grover, 988 So. 2d 1225, 1227 (Fla. 1st DCA 2008). The rule merely requires that a settlement proposal be sufficiently clear and definite to allow the offeree to make an informed decision without needing clarification. Carey-All Transp., Inc. v. Newby, 989 So. 2d 1201, 1206 (Fla. 2d DCA 2008). Further, courts are urged to "use reason and common sense and interpret the offer as a whole to avoid unreasonable results." Jacksonville Golfair, 988 So. 2d at 1227.


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