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Thomas v. Lockheed Martin Aeroparts, Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania

March 20, 2015

HOLLY A. THOMAS, Plaintiff,
v.
LOCKHEED MARTIN AEROPARTS, INC., Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

KIM R. GIBSON, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

Presently before the Court is Defendant's motion to enforce a settlement agree-ment that was purportedly reached at a settlement conference convened on March 11, 2014. (ECF No. 28). At the conclusion of the conference, the parties reduced their pur-ported settlement to a writing that included the "material terms of their agreement." (ECF No. 29 at 2). Plaintiff disputes the enforceability of the settlement agreement, arguing that the parties never entered a final settlement. (ECF No. 32).

This Court had originally scheduled an evidentiary hearing to permit the parties to address their respective understanding of the meaning of the terms of the settlement agreement. (ECF No. 36). In light of Plaintiff's inability to appear for the hearing[1], and in the interest of resolving this matter in a timely manner, the Court will now rule on the motion to enforce settlement without an evidentiary hearing. Though an evidentiary hear-ing would have assisted the Court in reaching a decision, the Court finds that it is able to rule on the motion without an evidentiary hearing.

For the reasons stated below, the Court will grant Defendant's motion to enforce the settlement agreement.

II. JURISDICTION AND VENUE

The Court exercises subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1343(a)(4). Venue is appropriate pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1391(b)(1) 1391(b)(2) because Defendant is located in and conducts business in this judicial district and because a sub-stantial part of the events giving rise to the claim occurred in this judicial district.

III. BACKGROUND

The Plaintiff, Ms. Holly Thomas ("Ms. Thomas"), initiated an action against her employer, Defendant Lockheed Martin Aeroparts, Inc. ("Lockheed Martin"), for violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and other applicable law on July 29, 2013. (Compl. at ¶ 1). The parties purportedly reached an agreement to settle all of Ms. Thomas' claims against Lockheed Martin on March 11, 2014, based on mediation conducted by the Honorable Kenneth R. Benson (Ret.). (ECF No. 28 at ¶ 1). At the close of negotiations, the parties and their attorneys executed a term sheet that summarized all the material terms of the settlement. ( Id. at ¶ 3; ECF No. 29 at 2). Lockheed Martin's brief in support of the motion to enforce settlement includes the following de-scription of the "material terms of the agreement":

1. The sum which Defendant was to pay;
2. Defendant's payment of Plaintiff's share of the mediation fee;
3. Confidentiality;
4. Non-disparagement;
5. Plaintiff's agreement that she would not apply ...

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