An executed, handwritten, two-sentence agreement reached during mediation may constitute a binding settlement agreement even where the parties later exchange, but fail to execute, a formal typewritten settlement agreement. Beverly v. Abbott Laboratories, 817 F.3d 328, 334 (7th Cir. 2016).
After her termination, Martina Beverly filed an employment discrimination lawsuit against Abbott Laboratories. At the end of a fourteen-hour mediation session, the parties and their counsel signed a two-sentence handwritten agreement reflecting their respective positions and obligating Abbott to communicate the positions internally. It stated that Abbott was offering $200,000 plus the costs of mediation. It also stated that “Beverly has demanded $210,000+ Abbott/AbbVie pays cost of mediation to resolve this matter” and provided that her demand would remain open for five days. The next day, Abbott accepted Beverly’s demand in an email and attached a draft typewritten settlement agreement similar to one sent prior to mediation. Beverly’s counsel responded a few minutes later stating, “Oh happy days! Best $10,000 Abbott has ever spent. You are a gem.” However, Beverly ultimately declined to sign the settlement agreement.