United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
buyers' remorse, a pro se plaintiff filed this
complaint after settling the same dispute and releasing these
same claims. His lawyer in the first suit negotiated a final
settlement enforced by Judge Heffley which released all
causes of action. Two weeks later, the plaintiff filed this
pro se complaint. The plaintiff did not appeal Judge
Heffley's order enforcing the settlement. Defendants move
to dismiss this second action as barred by the parties'
settlement agreement and release as enforced by a final
order. Plaintiff does not oppose. We grant Defendants'
Motion in the accompanying Order and dismiss his duplicative
August 16, 2016, Troy Thompson, represented by counsel, sued
Robert A. McDonald, the then Secretary of the Department of
Veterans Affairs, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and
Shari Aughtry, Gregory Weller, and Elizabeth Helsel, all
employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical
Center in Philadelphia (collectively the
“VA”). He alleged discrimination on the basis of
gender in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of
1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. and the
Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, 43 P.S. § 951 et
seq. The VA answered on November 4, 2016 and, on
November 10, 2016, the parties consented to refer the case to
December 16, 2016, while litigation in the First Action
remained ongoing, Mr. Thompson again sued the VA and its
employees applying to proceed in forma pauperis (the
“Second Action”). The Clerk assigned the Second
Action to us as a related case to the First Action.
Defendants assert neither they nor Mr. Thompson's counsel
knew he filed the Second Action. On January 19, 2017, we
denied Mr. Thompson's application to proceed in forma
pauperis and ordered he pay the applicable filing fee by
February 20, 2017 if he intended to proceed with his
February 7, 2017, the parties attended a settlement
conference with Judge Lloret in the First Action and reached
a settlement agreement. In exchange for a cash settlement, Mr.
Thompson agreed, inter alia, to release and
discharge the United States and the VA and its agents and
employees from any and all claims and dismiss with prejudice
any and all federal lawsuits, EEOC complaints, and all other
pending administrative complaints or grievances.
reaching a settlement on February 7, 2017, Mr. Thompson filed
his complaint on February 21, 2017 in this Second Action.
Thompson then refused to sign the Settlement Agreement. On
March 21, 2017, the VA moved to enforce the Settlement
Agreement in the First Action. Following a hearing on the
motion to enforce the Agreement, Judge Heffley granted the
VA's motion, and ordered the matter settled “on the
terms stated in the draft Stipulation for Compromise
Settlement and Release” and closed the
contends Judge Heffley “verbally ordered” Mr.
Thompson to execute the Agreement and send her a copy of the
executed Agreement by June 12, 2017, and, specifically
addressing the Second Action, ordered Mr. Thompson to
withdraw the Second Action according to the terms of the
Thompson did not sign the Settlement Agreement or withdraw
the Second Action. The VA moved to dismiss the Second Action
as settled. Mr. Thompson elected not to respond to the
argue we must dismiss the Second Action because the terms of
the Settlement Agreement required Mr. Thompson to release any
and all claims against the VA and Judge Heffley ordered the
matter settled under the terms of the parties' Agreement.
We agree and dismiss his Second Action.
Heffley addressed whatever objection Mr. Thompson had or has
to the Settlement Agreement at her hearing. Mr.
Thompson's attorney represented his interests at the
hearing. Judge Heffley ordered the matter settled on the
terms of the parties' Agreement and closed the matter, a
final order. Mr. Thompson did not appeal from Judge
Heffley's June 9, 2017 Order. There is a final order
granting the VA's motion to enforce the Settlement
Agreement under its terms and closing the matter.
the terms of the Settlement Agreement enforced by Judge
Heffley, Mr. Thompson released all claims against the VA ...