Dillon v. Schmidt
The 30-day period in which to consider an offer of compromise can be extended, if the parties agree to a stipulation, and otherwise is mandatory. Kenneth Dillon sued Paul Schmidt, alleging that he was injured in a motor-vehicle accident. On Oct. 10, 2012, Dillon filed an offer of compromise. Schmidt requested an extension of time, in which to consider the plaintiff's offer, because the plaintiff has not yet been deposed. Practice Book §17-16 provides, "If such offer of compromise is not accepted within thirty days and prior to the rendering of a verdict by the jury or an award by the judicial authority, such offer of compromise shall be considered rejected and not subject to acceptance unless refiled." Connecticut Superior Courts are divided on whether the 30-day period in Practice Book §17-16 can be extended. Here, the court found that the language in Practice §17-16 was mandatory and that the court lacked authority, absent a stipulation between the parties, to extend the 30-day period. The court denied the defendant's request for an extension. "[S]tretching the time constraints set forth in the statute governing offers of compromise," wrote the court, "defeats the core purpose of such statutes."