Do Settlement Offers Expire Years Later?

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In the recent decision Karasiewicz v Collins et al, 2020 ONSC 4601, the plaintiff brought a motion to enforce a settlement. The plaintiff commenced an action in February 2016, alleging constructive dismissal. Early on the parties exchanged settlement offers in correspondence. In 2020, the plaintiff accepted an offer that was about 3.5 years old and then brought a motion to enforce the settlement made based on the old offer. The defendants argued that the offer should have been deemed to be withdrawn because of changed circumstances.

At paragraph 42, Justice Newton dismissed the defendant’s argument that the offer should be deemed “withdrawn”. However, Justice Newton concluded that the failure to place limits on the offer or clearly withdraw the offer by the defendants was a large error. This error significantly compromised the rights of the defendants, for which the court would not enforce the offer, under the principle of fairness.

(heatherdouglaslaw.com)

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