Beverly v. Abbott Labs., Inc., No. 15-1098 (7th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
Beverly, a former Abbott employee whose employment was terminated on October 20, 2010, filed suit against Abbott. She alleged that during her employment, Abbott had discriminated and retaliated against her on the basis of her German nationality in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, as well as on the basis of her disabilities in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The district court denied Abbott’s motion for summary judgment and the parties engaged in a private mediation. During mediation, the parties signed a handwritten agreement stating that Beverly demanded $210,000 and mediation costs in exchange for dismissing the lawsuit. Abbott later accepted Beverly’s demand and circulated a more formal settlement proposal. After Beverly refused to execute the draft proposal, Abbott moved to enforce the original handwritten agreement. The court found that the parties entered into a binding settlement agreement and granted Abbott’s motion to enforce. The Seventh Circuit affirmed, holding that the handwritten agreement was valid and enforceable, since its material terms were clearly conveyed and consented to by both parties, and the existence and content of the draft proposal do not affect enforceability.