It is DA policy to settle meritorious claims promptly and fairly through direct negotiation at the lowest possible level. The Army's negotiator should not admit liability as such is not necessary. However, the settlement should reflect diminished value where contributory negligence or other value-diminishing factors exist. The negotiator should be thoroughly familiar with all aspects of the case, including the claimant's background, the key witnesses, the anticipated testimony and the appearance of the scene. There is no substitute for the claims negotiator's personal study of, and participation in, the case before settlement negotiations begin. If settlement is not possible due to the divergence in the offers, refine the issues as much as possible in order to expedite any subsequent suit. Mediation should be used if the divergence is due to an issue of law affecting either liability or damages. For further discussion see DA Pam 27-162, paragraph 2-64.
Title 32 published on 2012-07-01
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