SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT AND FULL AND FINAL RELEASE
This Agreement is made between Jennifer Hightower, (“Plaintiff’), The City of Jasper
and its insurer The Florida Municipal Insurance Trust including any of their heirs, insurers, and their past, present, or future commissioners, administrators, officers, elected officials, employees, agents, attorneys, representatives and assigns in their individual and official capacity. The City and Trust and any and all of their insurers, commissioners, mayors, administrators, officers, elected officials, employees, agents, attorneys, representatives and assigns, whether past and present, individually and officially will be referred to as “Defendant.” Plaintiff and Defendant will
be referred to collectively as “the Parties”.
REASONS FOR AGREEMENT
a. The Parties are parties in a lawsuit filed in the Circuit Court, Third Judicial Circuit,
Hamilton County, Florida , which is styled Jennifer Hightower vs. City of Jasper, Case No. 2018-CA-0082 (“the Lawsuit”) in which Plaintiff has asserted certain claims against Defendant;
b. Defendant denies any wrongdoing with respect to Plaintiff and it is understood that
this settlement is the compromise of a doubtful and disputed claim, and that the consideration made is not to be construed as an admission of liability of the Defendant.
c. The Parties want to resolve and settle the claims made by Plaintiff in the lawsuit,
as well as any other claims Plaintiff may have against Defendant arising out of facts or events, known or unknown, occurring up to and including the date of execution of this Settlement Agreement and Full and Final Release (“Agreement”).
Therefore, in consideration of the promises in this Agreement, the Parties agree as follows:
1. Payment. Defendant will pay the sole amount of Seventy Five Thousand Dollars
and No Cents ($75,000.00) plus cost of mediation to Plaintiff in one check made payable to Brooks, Leboeuf, Foster, Gwartney, Leace & Hobbs, P.A. trust account within 10 days of Plaintiff signing this agreement. This amount will be paid for all alleged damages, costs and attorney’s fees incurred by Plaintiff in connection with the Lawsuit and with her employment with the City of Jasper. Plaintiff agrees that the amount paid by Defendant is valid consideration for this Agreement and Release.
2. General Release. Plaintiff agrees for herself and her successors in interest to release
Defendant from all claims of every kind (including attorneys’ fees and costs) which Plaintiff has ever had or now may have against Defendant. These claims include, but are not limited to, all claims that were asserted or could have been asserted in the Lawsuit and Plaintiffs employment with Defendant, the termination of her employment, all claims for breach of express or implied contract or covenant of good faith and fair dealing, all claims for retaliation or violation of public policy, all claims under the common law of Florida, all claims arising under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Florida Public Whistleblower’s Act, the
Americans with Disabilities Act, the Florida Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1981, 1983, 1985, 1988, the Constitutions of the United States and Florida and any other federal, state or local laws relating to employment or benefits associated with employment, claims for emotional distress, mental anguish, personal injury, defamation, loss of consortium, any and all claims that may be asserted on Plaintiffs behalf by others. Plaintiff further agrees that if she attempts to avoid or set aside the terms of this general release, or if Defendant successfully asserts this general release as a defense or bar to any claim asserted by or on behalf of Plaintiff, she shall be liable for the costs and attorney’s fees of Defendant in defending such claims or asserting such defense based on this general release.
3. No Future Employment. The Plaintiff represents and warrants that she will not
apply for any position with the City of Jasper.
4. Dismissal of Lawsuit. Plaintiff agrees to dismiss the Lawsuit, with prejudice within
five business days of receipt of payment under this Agreement. Plaintiff authorizes her attorney to file the necessary papers to dismiss the Lawsuit with prejudice and to direct her attorney to provide Defendant’s attorney with proof that the Lawsuit has been dismissed immediately after this has been accomplished. Plaintiff agrees that other than the Lawsuit, no complaint or civil or administrative charges have been filed with any local, state or federal agency or court on her behalf regarding allegations made against Defendant.
5. No Further Civil Claims. Plaintiff represents and warrants that she will not file any
civil complaints, charges or lawsuits with any governmental agency or any court, against
Defendant arising out of facts, claims or issues encompassed in this Agreement. Plaintiff further represents, warrants, and agrees to refrain from instituting, prosecuting, filing or processing, or assisting or cooperating with the instituting, prosecuting, filing or processing of any civil complaint, charge, or any litigation against Defendant in any way related to or arising out of the facts, claims or issues encompassed in this Agreement, or any other claims, charges, or causes of action that could have been raised against Defendant in the Lawsuit. This provision does not prohibit Plaintiff from testifying in any court proceeding or from lawfully complying with a subpoena
6. Taxes. The Parties agree that Defendant is not responsible for payment of any taxes
(if any become due), from the settlement proceeds.
7. Non-Admission. Plaintiff understands and agrees that Defendant expressly denies
any liability in connection with the Lawsuit, and any responsibility for any damages alleged by Plaintiff; that settlement of the Lawsuit is the compromise of a disputed and doubtful claim; and that the settlement was made by Defendant only to avoid the expense, inconvenience, and disruption that would result from continued litigation. This settlement is not to be cited as an admission of fault by any Party.
8. Non-Determination. Plaintiff understands and agrees that the Court has made no
findings concerning the alleged violations of law, regulation, ordinance, administrative order or rule.
9. Severability. If any portion of this Agreement is void or deemed unenforceable for
any reason, the unenforceable portion shall be deemed severed from the remaining portions of this Agreement, which shall otherwise remain in full force.
10. Signature in Counterpart and by Facsimile or Electronic Mail. The Parties agree
that a facsimile or electronic copy of a signature page shall be as fully binding as an original signature page.
11. Effective Date. This Agreement shall be effective and binding on the date that
Plaintiff signs it.
12. Florida Law. The Laws of the State of Florida will govern this Agreement and the
venue will be with the Circuit Court in Jasper, Florida.
13. Entire Agreement. Plaintiff acknowledges that she has been fully advised to consult
an attorney as to the terms and provisions of this Agreement and has done so. Plaintiff
acknowledges that in executing this Agreement she does not rely and has not relied upon any representation or statement not set forth in this Agreement with regard to the subject matter, basis or effect of this Agreement. Plaintiff represents that she has had the opportunity to consult competent legal counsel of her own choosing before signing this Agreement, has carefully reviewed the Agreement and was fairly advised as to its terms. Plaintiff further represents and warrants that she has been given adequate time to consider this Agreement before executing it and that she executes this Agreement as a free act and deed and that she has been given a period of at least twenty-one (21) days within which to consider this agreement; however, the undersigned waives such right.
WHEREFORE, in consideration for the terms contained in this Agreement, the Plaintiff,
by her signature below and the Defendant, by its payment, agree to be bound by the terms in this Agreement and acknowledge that there exists no other promises, representations or agreements relating to this settlement, except as specifically set forth in this document.