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Barlow v. Finegan

Supreme Court of Delaware

October 1, 2013

Angela M. BARLOW and John Barlow, Jr., wife and husband, and Angela M. Brown, as Next Friend of John Barlow, III, a minor, and Dawn Locke, as Next Friend of Kimberly Foth, a minor, Plaintiffs Below, Appellees as to Barlow,
v.
Michael P. FINEGAN, Dana M. Finegan, and Michael P. Finegan, Jr., Defendants Below, Appellees. Dawn Locke, as Guardian Ad Litem of Kimberly Foth, Plaintiff Below, Appellant,
v.
Michael Patrick Finegan, and Michael P. Finegan, Jr., Defendants Below, Appellees. Titan Indemnity Company, Plaintiff Below, Appellant,
v.
Dawn Locke, as Next Friend of Kimberly Foth and Angela Barlow, as Next Friend of John Barlow, III, Defendants, Appellants as to Foth.

Submitted: Aug. 21, 2013.

Reargument Denied Oct. 15, 2013.

Page 804

Court Below— Superior Court of the State of Delaware, in and for New Castle County, C.A. Nos. N11C-04-237, N11C-09-105, N12C-03-013.

Upon appeal from the Superior Court. REVERSED and REMANDED.

L. Vincent Ramunno, Esquire (argued), Ramunno & Ramunno, P.A., Wilmington, Delaware, for appellant, Dawn Locke, guardian ad litem of Kimberly Foth.

Cynthia G. Beam, Esquire, Newark, Delaware, for appellees, Michael P. Finegan, Jr. and Michael Patrick Finegan.

Gary S. Nitsche, Esquire (argued) and Michael B. Galbraith, Esquire, Weik, Nitsche & Dougherty, Wilmington, Delaware, for appellees, Angela M. Barlow, John Barlow, Jr. and John Barlow, III.

Robert J. Leoni, Esquire (argued), Shelsby & Leoni, Stanton, Delaware, for appellee, Titan Indemnity Company.

Before STEELE, Chief Justice, HOLLAND and JACOBS, Justices.

HOLLAND, Justice:

Dawn Locke, on behalf of minor appellant, Kimberly Foth (" Foth" ), appealed the Superior Court's July 26, 2012 final judgment in favor of Foth and minor appellee, John Barlow, III (" Barlow" ), and the March 2, 2012 Order granting Barlow's motion to enforce the parties' settlement

Page 805

agreement wherein Foth and Barlow would each receive $7,500. On May 6, 2013, this Court vacated the Superior Court's Order entering final judgment and remanded this matter for the purpose of holding a minors' settlement hearing for Foth and Barlow. This Court's remand order stated:

The parties agree that no minors' settlement hearing occurred. Under 12 Del. C. ยง 3926 and Superior Court Civil Rule 133(c), court approval is required before the settlement can become final. Therefore, the trial judge erred by issuing an order entering final judgment and this matter must be remanded for the purpose of holding a minors' settlement hearing for Foth and John. The parties should present arguments concerning the proposed settlement's relative fairness to the minors and evidence such as medical reports at the hearing. We do not reach Foth's ...

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