FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF
SUMMIT, OHIO CASE No. CV-2012-03-1723
M. GROEDEL, Attorney at Law, for Appellant.
H. SCIALDONE, NEIL SARKAR and TERRY WILLIAMS, Attorneys at
Law, for Appellees.
DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY
A. SCHAFER, Presiding Judge.
Plaintiff-Appellant, Lisa Clark appeals the order of the
Summit County Court of Common Pleas denying her motion to
enforce settlement agreement and request for sanctions. For
the reasons that follow, we affirm.
This is the second appeal in this matter. See Clark v.
Corwin, 9th Dist. Summit Co. 27524, 2015-Ohio-4469.
After remand from the first appeal, the parties agreed to
mediate the matter and ultimately consented to a settlement.
At the close of mediation, the parties signed a mediation
status report identifying the terms to be included in a more
formal document ("settlement term sheet"). However,
after several months of back and forth the parties could not
agree on the exact language to be used in the formal, written
settlement agreement. Consequently, the parties filed
competing motions to enforce the settlement agreement. The
trial court held a hearing and thereafter granted
Corwin's motion to enforce in an order filed November 7,
Clark filed this timely appeal, raising six assignments of
error for our review. As Clark's first, second, and third
assignments of error raise similar issues, we elect to
address them together.
of Error I
trial court erred in denying [Clark]'s motion to enforce
the settlement term sheet and instead binding [Clark] to a
contract for which she received no [consideration] and which
contains terms to which she never agreed.
of Error II
trial court erred by allowing [Corwin] to unilaterally add
terms to a written memorialization beyond that to which the
of Error III
trial court erred by binding [Clark] to a contract with
people and entities she does not know, with whom she is not
in privity, against whom she asserted no claims, and who are
not parties to this lawsuit.
In her first, second and third assignment of error, Clark
contends that the trial court erred when it denied her motion
to enforce, erred by allowing Corwin to add terms to the
agreement, and erred by binding her to a contract with
parties with whom she was not in privity and against whom she
did not assert any claims and were not parties to the
lawsuit. We disagree.
"The standard of review to be applied to a ruling on a
motion to enforce a settlement agreement depends primarily on
the question presented." Tech. Constr. Specialties,
Inc. v. New Era Builders, Inc., 9th Dist. Summit No.
25776, 2012-Ohio-1328, ¶ 18. This Court will not
overturn a trial court's findings on an evidentiary
question if there was sufficient evidence to support such
finding. Id. citing Chirchiglia v. Bur. of
Workers' Comp., 138 Ohio App.3d 676, 679 (7th
Dist.2000). However, if the dispute is a question of law,
this Court "must review the decision de novo to
determine whether the trial court's decision to enforce
the settlement agreement is based upon an erroneous standard
or a misconstruction of the law." New Era
Builders at ¶ 18, citing Continental W.
Condominium Unit Owners Assn. v. Howard E. Ferguson,
Inc., 74 Ohio St.3d 501, 502 (1995).
This matter involves Clark's claims against Corwin for
tortious interference with contractual and business
relationships. Prior to trial, the parties agreed to settle
the matter and signed a settlement term sheet during
mediation on March 23, 2016. The trial court found that the
settlement term sheet provides as follows:
Settlement in gross su[m] of $250, 000 3 checks - with
separate reporting to IRS: wages to Clark, one for
non-economic compensatory damages to Clark, & 1 to
CG&A for attorneys' fees for full and final release
of claims and dismissal of claims in above case against
defendants, with prejudice.
Plaintiff will dismiss this case with prejudice. Costs to
1. (Defendant) to get 1st draft of the
settlement agreement to (Plaintiff) w/in 1 week,
(Plaintiff) to respond w/in 1 week, agreement to be
finalized & signed within 30 days, & checks &
fully executed settlement agreement within 21 days
2.Full material release of claims.