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© 2019 by Jerome F. Rock

Case Study 7

Quick Overview
  • Early Case Mediation with voluntary exchange of information managed by Mediator

  • Joint Mediation session with “For Mediation Purposes Only” presentations by non-party and telephone conference with Expert Witness

Background on the Case:  Mediator selected by parties for Early Case Mediation involving work performed at Honda assembly plant in Tennessee.  Plaintiff was a robotics integrator who retained Defendant Engineering Company to design structures over production lines.  The structures vibrated excessively, which resulted in out of tolerance robotic operations.    Engineer’s defense relied upon Plaintiff’s project manager providing project requirements. 

Mediator Leadership:    Mediator met with project managers and engineer of both firms, and expert for Plaintiff.  The Mediator coordinated “For Mediation Purposes Only” information exchange, including a stipulated Protective Order.  Mediator recognized a fundamental information miscommunication between project managers, and suggested additional document exchange from component suppliers to clarify design parameters.  The Mediator arranged a “For Mediation Purposes Only” presentation by Plaintiff’s project manager and Plaintiff’s Expert at the Mediation Hearing. 

Outcome:  Multi Million Dollar demand  resolved well below claim at Mediation Hearing based on extensive “For Mediation Purposes Only” exchange of information. No formal discovery needed resulting in reduced transaction costs and Defendant did not require its own expert witness.

Insight:  The Mediator recognized the value in presenting a persuasive explanation for the underlying “miscommunication” offered by Plaintiff’s Project Manager, and the importance of a face to face exchange.  The Mediator understood that Defendant’s professional liability policy included a substantial self-retention, and required consent to any settlement which would not have been granted without the “For Mediation Purposes Only” presentation by the Project Manager. 

J

udge: David Lawson, USDC, EDM

Plaintiff’s Counsel: John Chupa, PC, Farmington Hills, MI

Defense Counsel: Kevin Gleeson, Craig Thompson, Sullivan, Ward, Asher & Patten, Southfield, MI