High-low agreements in trials for civil damages constitute settlements and should be enforced as such, an appeals court in Brooklyn has ruled in a case of first impression.

A unanimous panel of the Appellate Division, 2nd Department, ruling in Cunha v. Shapiro, 2006-07880, further concluded that a plaintiff who wants to file a judgment in connection with a high-low agreement must first sign a general release and stipulation of discontinuance, which gives a defendant 21 days to pay an award. Justice Mark C. Dillon wrote the opinion.

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