Mediation Case Study: Danger on the Mississippi

This dispute was resolved on 5/8/17 using 1 Hour Mediation. The parties reached 98 degrees in Settlement Testing and quickly settled over the phone.

Case summary:

Plaintiff’s tugboat struck an unmarked submerged object owned by the Defendant, with lost revenue during repairs.

Plaintiff’s perspective: The Defendant knew of the hazard created, but did nothing to remediate for over a year, justifying punitive damages. When coupled with the repair costs and lost revenue and 100% fault on the Defendant, the Plaintiff estimated a verdict of approximately $1.3 million.

Defendant’s perspective:  The tug’s pilot contributed to the incident. With this comparative fault estimated at 25%, the Defendant valued the total damages at $750,00.  Estimated verdict of $562,500.

Why 1 Hour Mediation Worked:

Settlement Testing was the perfect tool to resolve this case because the damages were fairly straightforward, and the parties were able to negotiate mostly based on fault allocation. The party’s most conciliatory numbers were closer than their estimates, but they lacked a safe way to offer that best number without compromising their negotiating positions. The Settlement Testing portion of 1 Hour Mediation provided that forum, and allowed the parties to set aside the posturing and rapidly reach a fair settlement.

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Tagged: Settle, Fault, 1 Hour Mediation, ADR, Liability, Settlement Case Studies, Settlement