Monday, June 18, 2007

S.C. Court of Appeals limits release of parties in a settlement agreement

In Ecclesiastes Production Ministries v. Outparcel, the Court of Appeals narrowly interpreted a settlement agreement containing the following language: "and any other persons, firms, or corporations who are or may be liable, now or in the future, from any and all claims...." A third party attempted to take advantage of this language in moving for a directed verdict. The trial court granted the motion, but the Court of appeals reversed. The Court of Appeals held that the Settlement Agreement was exclusively between the two signatories. Despite the third party’s urging to the contrary, the release of “any other persons, firms, or corporations" etc., was interpreted to only include those persons and entities involved in the claims directly between the two signatories.

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