In an order Friday, Judge Peck enforced as a binding contract the terms of a settlement negotiated over email in a case against former Mets star Lenny Dykstra. The plaintiff managed Mr. Dykstra’s social media presence, including “dealing with the fallout from Dykstra’s boorish behavior,” and claims to have not been paid (see complaint here).
Mr. Dykstra’s lawyer had written “we have a deal” in an email chain with settlement terms but later argued that the terms also needed to include a “standard” mutual release. Judge Peck disagreed:
That a mutual release is . . . a “standard item” in many — but not all — settlements does not make it material or render the agreement ambiguous where the intent to include such a term was not expressed. Indeed, Dykstra cites no case, nor offers an affidavit from counsel, to support the argument that a general release is “standard.” Certainly, this Court’s experience (as a lawyer and a judge) is that some settlements include a general release in “Blumberg” form (releasing all claims from the “beginning of the world”), others have a different general release format, while other settlements have a specific release, are dismissed without any release, or include whatever else the parties may have negotiated.