Beware of What You Sign

January 29, 2013

A word of caution when settling personal injury claims. If more than one person or entity are potentially responsible for your accident-related bodily injuries, be aware that executing a Release of All Claims document with certain language could have the potential of exonerating the remaining and non-settling defendants.  In the recent case of Rodriguez v. Oto {California Court of Appeal, Sixth District} , the Court held that when Rodriguez signed a Release presented to him by Hertz Car Rental for $25,000 it purported to release not only Hertz but also "all other persons." Subsequently, Rodriguez sued Oto and his employer to obtain from them the full measure of his claim, plus the $25,000 he received from Hertz. The Court of Appeal ruled, however, that because the Release he signed in favor of Hertz also purported to release "all other persons" Mr. Rodriguez' claims against other persons implicated in causing his injury were barred by that release document. A word of advice when settling cases and signing releases, carefully review the language to be certain it is limited to the parties you intend to release.

This post is published by  The Law Offices of Padilla Law Group, LLP, specialists in Personal Injury, Wrongful Death, and Product Liability matters.