With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to impact the country as a whole, there is a litigation environment that is rapidly changing. There are ways to resolve cases that represent wins for both the plaintiffs and the defendants. These are unique opportunities that do not typically exist. Particularly in the corporate world, it is critical to take a look at these cases because they can keep costs down on both sides while still preserving the reputations of all parties involved. There are opportunities available that did not exist a few months ago and are unlikely to exist in the future.
First, corporate defendants should consider settling cases when the cost of putting up a defense exceeds the amount that is being discussed by the parties involved. Settlement in these cases is simply better for the corporation’s bottom line while the plaintiff still receives some sort of compensation during a time that is turbulent financially. If the corporation has been fighting in an effort to avoid future claims, this settlement does not indicate any sort of admission of wrongdoing, which is important moving forward.
Furthermore, corporations are more likely to receive a settlement that is favorable to them. Unemployment claims are going through the roof and it is likely that plaintiffs are trying to find a new job. They will be appreciative of any money they can receive in this situation. Therefore, settling for a lower number might be possible in this environment.
Furthermore, many corporations are feeling the impact of an economic downturn as well. If any party is vulnerable to bankruptcy, including the corporation, plaintiffs might be willing to take a lower settlement to avoid the uncertainty of trying to recover money from a company that has declared bankruptcy. Sadly, companies are going bankrupt, including J. Crew, the renowned clothier that recently filed for Chapter 11.
With the uncertain legal environment, it is important for corporations to look at all of the options available to them. If there are cases that are being handled by the same plaintiff attorney, then it would be a good idea to try to resolve a large volume of them now. If a corporate defendant is able to pay quickly, then a large number of cases could be settled at a lower price.