Here is an article from the NYLJ [subscription]:
"High-low agreements in trials for civil damages constitute settlements and should be enforced as such, an appeals court in Brooklyn has ruled in a case of first impression.
A unanimous panel of the Appellate Division, Second Department, ruling in Cunha v. Shapiro, 2006-07880, further concluded that a plaintiff who wants to file a judgment in connection with a high-low agreement must first sign a general release and stipulation of discontinuance, which gives a defendant 21 days to pay an award. Justice Mark C. Dillon (See Profile) wrote the opinion.
The decision will be published Thursday.
High-low agreements set a low and high amount for damages in a civil trial. If a jury awards more than the specified amounts, the plaintiffs accept the high. If the jury awards less, the plaintiff accepts the low. If the jury finds for an in-between amount, that figure is awarded.
In Cunha, Frank Cunha sued Blanche S. Shapiro and the estate of Jesse Shapiro after allegedly sustaining injuries in a minor car accident. Mr. Cunha’s attorney, Eitan A. Ogen of Ogen & Associates, said Mr. Cunha needed arthroscopic surgery on his knee as a result of the accident.
Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Lewis Douglass (See Profile) granted Mr. Cunha’s motion for summary judgment in July 2004. The case went to trial for damages in March 2006 before Justice Martin Schneier"