One Defendant Not Liable to Pay Defaulting Defendant’s Settlement Contribution

pie&slice.gifIn Budning v. Vinokurov et al., the plaintiff settled with three defendants. Minutes of settlement were entered into, specifying the amounts to be paid by each defendant. Two of the defendants (a law firm and a municipality) paid their contributions to the defendant. The third defaulted. The plaintiffs moved to enforce the minutes of settlement and for an order that the law firm and municipality were jointly and severally liable for the global amount of the settlement (and thus, obliged to pay to the plaintiffs the share of the defaulting defendant).

Justice Edward Belobaba dismissed the plaintiffs’ motion. He noted that “a settlement agreement is a contract” and this one specified who was to pay what. His Honour said that if the minutes of settlement had not¬†provided for the amounts to be contributed by the individual defendants, he would have accepted the plaintiffs’ argument.

Something to bear in mind for both plaintiffs and defendants who are settling claims in which several defendants are involved.

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