Final Settlement is Final

A California woman just found out how final a final settlement is. Spoiler alert: very. I’m Amy E. Feldman.

A woman who was hit by a hotel shuttle bus sued the hotel because she said she developed foreign accent syndrome, a very rare condition in which a person begins to speak in a foreign accent so even though she was born and raised in the US, after the accident she suddenly began to speak with a European accent. Which isn’t the weirdest part of the case—nor is the fact the hotel actually paid eighty-five thousand dollars to settle it, despite the fact that she had no medical bills. 

The weirdest part is that a year after the settlement, she decided she’d accepted less than she should have and tried to back out of the settlement. Perhaps in the European country from which her accent has manifested, the word “final” has a different meaning—but here, unless the settlement was based on fraud, once the period to revoke has expired, a final settlement is final and you can’t revoke it just because you rethink it, according to the court.

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