Trial Court Order Imposing Settlement Terms Beyond the Scope of Settlement Reversed

Hegge & Confusione persuaded a New Jersey appeals court to reverse part of a trial court order imposing settlement terms upon the plaintiff to which she had not agreed. The plaintiff had asserted harassment and discrimination claims against her employer. A purported settlement was reached and memorialized in a one-page document signed by the plaintiff. The defendant, however, moved to compel the plaintiff to sign a 14-page "settlement agreement" containing several terms not reflected in the one-page memorandum that plaintiff had signed. The trial court compelled the plaintiff to execute the 14-page document. The appeals court reversed, however, agreeing with Hegge & Confusione that the plaintiff could not be compelled to sign a document containing terms that exceeded those to which plaintiff had actually agreed.