Entering into a settlement agreement can help efficiently resolve a lawsuit and allow both parties to move forward. However, sometimes you might be involved in multiple interrelated lawsuits. If you sign a settlement agreement with one party, are you precluded from pursuing other related litigation?
Donald Hodge Sr., who is now deceased, owned a deer farm located in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana. The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (“LDAF”) learn the herd possibly had Chronic Wasting Disease, which likely came from six deer purchased from a farm in Pennsylvania. LDAF put a quarantine over the Hodge Farm. Hodge died the next day before he knew about the quarantine.
Once the quarantine was in place, LDAF tried to locate the deer purchased from Pennsylvania. However, there were no deer at the Hodge Farm with tags indicating they were the likely inflected deer. Hodge’s children and administrators of his estate filed a lawsuit against LDAF. They wanted to lift the quarantine so they could sell the farm. They claimed the at-issue farm had been delivered to a different deer farm located in Mississippi, owned by Jared Oertling. The Hodges also sought damages from LDAF associated with the costs they incurred from the quarantine.