Visitor Question

Delaying Settlement Negotiations in Wrongful Death Case…

Submitted By: Anonymous (Nevada)

My mother suffered injuries when a pharmacy delivered medication to her and she overdosed. She recovered from that incident but then slowly declined until her death.

Our family negotiated with their insurance company and 3 out of 4 parties are agreeable with settlement, the 4th is not. The insurance company made an offer to settle with the other 3 parties and they accepted, and they were to negotiate with the 4th separately.

The 4th party is holding out on accepting a settlement and creating problems with regard to my mother’s estate, which effects the other 3 parties who have already agreed to settle.

Can the 4th party be sued for hindering and impeding the settlement? Can the insurance company withdraw their settlement offer with the other 3 parties due to the delay? Is there anything we can do to force the 4th party to agree? Thanks for any information you can give.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Anonymous,

Your question is multifaceted. I can only presume the 4 parties are family members involved in the disbursement of the assets of your later mother’s estate.

From the limited facts you present the insurance company cannot withdraw their settlement offers unless those offers were made contingent upon the 4th party’s agreement to settle.

It appears that was not the case.

Unless you or the other 3 parties have proof of some form of collusion or criminal action which involves the 4th party there is little you or the other parties can do.

If the 4th party believes his or her decision not to settle is legitimate, then how you and the other parties feel doesn’t matter. The 4th party’s legitimacy is all she needs to maintain her decision not to settle.

You and the other parties should concentrate your energies on the insurance company. See if they will compromise with the 4th party. Find out from the 4th party the reasons for her decision not to settle. See if you can bring the all the parties together for a settlement meeting in an effort to find grounds for a compromise. That can be accomplished through an in-person meeting, telephone conference, or even by “Skyping”.

It appears the solution to the entire problem may be a compromise of some type. Explore that issue thoroughly.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: February 28, 2012

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