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Booth v. 3669 Delaware, Inc., 1998 N.Y. Int. 0120 (Oct. 15, 1998).

CONTRACTS - INSURANCE LIABILITY RELEASE


ISSUE & DISPOSITION

Issue

Whether Plaintiff may bring a claim for negligence and violating several labor law provisions after signing an insurance claim release where there is no triable issue concerning the validity of the release.

Disposition

No. Where the language of the release is clear and unambiguous and no triable issues of fraud have been raised, the signing of a release is binding on the parties.

SUMMARY

Plaintiff was injured while wearing stilts on his job as a drywall installer. Subsequently, Plaintiff signed an insurance release relieving Defendants of all liability, in exchange for $3,000. The release stated: "YOU ARE MAKING A FINAL SETTLEMENT. THIS IS A RELEASE. READ CAREFULLY BEFORE SIGNING." Where the language is clear and unambiguous, and there is no issue regarding the fraudulent nature of the release, the release should bind both parties. The decision furthers the public policy favoring enforcement of settlements.


Prepared by the liibulletin-ny Editorial Board.