JAMES R. GOAN ET AL.
BILLY B. MILLS
Session Date: December 14, 2016
from the Circuit Court for Hawkins County No. 09CV0375 Alex
E. Pearson, Judge
James R. Goan's mail delivery vehicle was rear-ended by a
vehicle driven by Billy B. Mills as Plaintiff was delivering
mail. The Plaintiff and his wife, Judy Goan, sued Mills.
During settlement negotiations, Plaintiffs offered to settle
for $100, 000, the limits of Defendant's insurance
policy. Defendant accepted the offer on December 4, 2013.
Over a year later, Defendant filed a motion to enforce the
settlement agreement. The Plaintiffs opposed the motion,
arguing that there had been no meeting of the minds and no
enforceable agreement. The trial court enforced the
settlement agreement. The Plaintiffs appeal. We affirm.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Circuit
Court Affirmed; Case Remanded
C. Jessee, Johnson City, Tennessee, for appellants, James R.
Goan and Judy Goan.
L. Kilday, Greeneville, Tennessee, for appellee, Billy Bruce
Charles D. Susano, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the
court, in which D. Michael Swiney, C.J., and John W.
McClarty, J., joined.
CHARLES D. SUSANO, JR., JUDGE
accident occurred on August 22, 2008. Plaintiffs filed their
complaint on August 17, 2009. Settlement negotiations ensued.
The record contains correspondence between the lawyers for
the parties. On April 26, 2013, Plaintiffs' counsel sent
Defendant's counsel a letter saying:
I met with Mr. Goan who advised he has been approved for back
surgery by workers comp. I believe the original medical bills
that we have provided you totaled over $76, 000.00. Obviously
they have increased. I believe the federal workers comp
subrogation was approximately $53, 000.00. Obviously it is
increasing. I have an agreement with comp that we can settle
this case now, save the costs of medical discovery and keep
the file open while we are waiting on his surgery. . . . If
there is only $100, 000.00 in insurance, I would demand the
policy limits primarily because of workers comp.
(Footnote added.) On August 23, 2013, Plaintiffs' counsel
sent another letter saying:
We have ordered from workers comp the updated numbers on Mr.
Goan. They tell us the total subrogation now is $78, 000.00 .
. . Given the $78, 000.00, I go back to demanding the limits
which I believe is $100, 000.00 but as we discussed I need a
firm number from you to figure out compromising the comp
November 6, 2013, Plaintiffs' counsel reiterated their
offer, stating, "we would renew our demand for the
policy limits of $100, 000." This was followed by
another letter on December 4, 2013, saying, "[p]er our
discussion, my client has reject[ed] the ...