Are settlements final?
In the case of Morant v. Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada, 2014 ONSC 2876 (S.C.J.), a Plaintiff filed as motion seeking a court order setting aside a settlement reached at mediation completed between the parties. The parties attended mediation and they reached a resolution of the Plaintiff’s claims. At about two weeks following the settlement reached at mediation, the Plaintiff changed her mind and wanted to void the settlement reached. It appears from the facts that the Plaintiff was in emotional and physical pain at mediation. The Plaintiff was also tired, stressed and felt pressure to settle.
The Honourable Mr. Justice Daley dismissed the motion filed by the Plaintiff. He held that as a general rule parties should be held to agreements they reach. While there can be some exceptions to this general rule, such as reaching an unconscionable agreement or the settlement is based on fault, fraud or misapprehension, or if one party lacked legal or mental capacity to enter the agreement, the Court held that this was not such a case and dismissed the motion finding that the agreement reached was binding.