October 18, 2019

October 17, 2019

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

October 16, 2019

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

October 15, 2019

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

Concealment Of Plaintiff's Death Voids Subsequent Settlement

Plaintiff filed a product liability action in connection with a prosthesis which failed. The case dragged on for almost five years. Shortly before trial was scheduled, the case settled. Unknown to the defendant, plaintiff had died eight months earlier. Defendant first learned of the death during the exchange of settlement documents and moved to vacate the settlement. The motion was denied.

The Fifth District reversed. An attorney's employment is revoked by the death of the client. As there was no plaintiff at the time of settlement, plaintiff's law firm had no authority to act after their client's death. The court found it troubling that plaintiff's attorney intentionally concealed a material fact that would have reduced the overall value of the claim for damages. Given intentional misrepresentations and material omissions during settlement negotiations, the court held settlement was invalid and unenforceable. Robison v. Orthotic and Prosthetic Lab, Inc., 2015 IL App (5th) 140079. 

© 2019 Heyl, Royster, Voelker & Allen, P.C


About this Author

Litigation of business and commercial cases is a major focus of Heyl Royster. Our experience encompasses all aspects of commercial dispute resolution - state and federal forums, administrative proceedings, arbitration, and mediation - in almost every area of substantive business law.