Kluver v. PPL Mont., LLCAnnotate this Case
Plaintiffs commenced a lawsuit against several power companies alleging that the Colstrip power facility, which bordered land owned by Plaintiffs, contaminated groundwater under their property. The parties proceeded with mediation after three years of litigation. The mediation ended with the transmission of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to the parties' counsel. After some of Plaintiffs expressed reservations about accepting the settlement, the power companies filed a motion to enforce the settlement agreement, arguing that the MOU was a written and signed settlement agreement. After a hearing, the district court granted the motion to enforce the settlement agreement, finding that the MOU was a binding, enforceable settlement agreement. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court (1) did not err by finding the MOU was an enforceable settlement agreement; (2) did not err by allowing parol evidence to change an option to purchase into a right of first refusal; and (3) erred in admitting evidence protected by the mediation confidentiality statute, but the error was harmless.