Brownlee v. Hospira, Inc., No. 16-2005 (7th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff sued her former employer, claiming that discharging her had violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The parties agreed in writing to settle the litigation but their agreement provided that there would be “[n]o binding agreement until the typed settlement agreement is signed”—which it never was. Plaintiff’s lawyer negotiated a proposed settlement agreement with Defendant’s lawyer, but the written terms made clear that this was not the “binding agreement” to which the parties had referred. Nevertheless, the district judge treated it as such, ruling that the litigation had been ended by a settlement, precipitating an appeal by Plaintiff. The Seventh Circuit vacated the district court’s decision on the ground that there was no settlement terminating the litigation and remanded for further proceedings in that court.