from the Iowa District Court for Johnson County, Kevin
Arch appeals the order granting Jared White's motion to
enforce settlement agreement.
Craig Nierman of Phelan, Tucker, Mullen, Walker, Tucker &
Gelman, L.L.P., Iowa City, for appellant.
Patrick L. Woodward and Ryan F. Gerdes of McDonald, Woodward
& Carlson, P.C., Davenport, for appellee.
Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Mullins and McDonald, JJ.
Arch appeals the district court's order granting Jared
White's motion to enforce a settlement agreement. Upon
our review, we conclude a valid and enforceable agreement was
entered into by both parties and there was no material breach
of the agreement. Accordingly, we affirm the court's
order granting White's motion to enforce the settlement
Background Facts and Proceedings.
purposes of this appeal, the facts are essentially
undisputed. The case arises from a June 2, 2017 motor vehicle
collision involving Arch and White. On August 15, 2017, Arch
filed his lawsuit against White claiming damages resulting
from the collision. Arch held off on service of the suit
papers pending ongoing settlement negotiations with
White's insurance carrier, State Farm Insurance Company
(State Farm). After a settlement was reached, Arch's
attorney, L. Craig Nierman, faxed a letter addressed to State
Farm claims adjuster Stefanie Edwards, stating:
My client has instructed me to accept your $3, 000.00 offer.
Please immediately forward to me your release (please
incorporate any amounts paid for property damage on the
amount listed on the release) and check payable to
"Phelan Tucker Trust Account" . . . only. I am
assuming that you will not be including any other parties on
the settlement draft unless we agree otherwise. Regardless, I
will not distribute the proceeds until the release has been
properly executed and sent to you.
Farm followed up by sending a release form to Nierman. No
settlement draft was enclosed with the cover
letter. The release states:
For the Sole Consideration of
Three thousand ($3, 000) dollars the receipt and
sufficiency whereof is hereby acknowledged, the
undersigned hereby releases and forever discharges Jared
White his heirs, executors, administrators, agents and
assigns, and all other persons, firms or corporations liable
or, who might be claimed to be liable, none of whom admit any
liability to the undersigned but all expressly deny any
liability, from any and all claims, demands, damages,
actions, causes of action or suits of any kind or nature
whatsoever, and particularly on account of all injuries,
known and unknown, both to person and property, which have
resulted or may in the future develop from an accident which
occurred on or about June 02, 2017, at or near [location
This release expressly reserves all rights of the parties
released to pursue their legal remedies, if any, against the
undersigned, their ...