Health / Medicine / Pharmaceutical Negotiation Role-Play:

Clarke v. California Insurance Co., et al.

Harvard Negotiation Project and Hastings College of Law
Two-party distributive negotiation between counsel for an insurance company and the insured regarding a disability benefits settlement

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SCENARIO:

Plaintiff Elizabeth Clarke contends that she has suffered from severe ulcerative colitis for four and a half years, resulting in her total disability. Defendant insurance company paid disability benefits for two years, and then terminated payments on the ground that she was not totally disabled under the terms of her policy. The causes and effects of ulcerative colitis are debatable, and there is disagreement between the medical experts involved in the case.

Two years ago, Clarke sued the insurance company in California state court, alleging contract and tort claims and requesting claiming disability benefits and punitive damages based on alleged malicious intent. Discovery is almost over, and the judge has indicated that she would like the case to be settled out of court. Now, the lawyers for the two parties are meeting to discuss settlement.

 

MAJOR LESSONS:

  • Both sides have very strong and very weak elements to their cases. How does the way in which these elements are handled affect the negotiation?
  • A great deal of relevant criteria is available for analysis and presentation. How does the use of criteria affect the creation and distribution of value in the negotiation?
  • What constitutes success in this negotiation? Avoiding trial? Making the other side apologize? Getting (or avoiding paying) a lot of money? A combination of these?

 

Teacher’s package includes:

  • Participant materials for both sides
  • No teaching note available

 

Clarke v. California Insurance Co., et al. Attributes

Time required:
2-3 hours
Number of participants:
2
Teams involved:
No
Agent present:
Lawyer
Neutral third party present:
None
Scoreable:
No
Teaching notes available:
No
PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center

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If you select the hard copy option, you will receive paper copies of this role simulation via the shipping method you select.

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For additional information about the soft copy option, please visit our FAQ section, or contact the PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center at tnrc@law.harvard.edu or 800-258-4406 (within the U.S.) or 781-966-2751 (outside the U.S.).

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If you wish to review the materials for a particular role simulation to decide whether you’d like to use it, then you should order a single Teacher’s Package for that role simulation. A PDF, or soft copy, version of the Teacher’s Package is also available as a free download from the description page of most role simulations and case studies. There is no need to order participant materials as well as a Teacher’s Package, as all Teacher’s Packages include copies of all participant materials. In addition, some Teacher’s Packages (but not all) include additional teaching materials such as teaching notes or overhead masters. Please note that the materials in Teacher’s Packages are for the instructor’s review and reference only, and may not be duplicated for use with participants.

Ordering copies for multiple participants

If you wish to order multiple copies of a role simulation for use in a course or workshop, simply enter the total number of participants in the box next to “Participant Copies.” There is no need to calculate how many of each role is required; the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center will calculate the appropriate numbers of each role to provide, based on the total number of participants. For example, if you wish to order a 2-party role simulation for use with a class of 30 students, you would enter “30” in the box next to “Participant Copies.” You then would receive 15 copies of one role and 15 copies of the other role, for use with your 30 participants. As another example, if you ordered 30 participant copies of a 6-party role simulation, you would receive 5 copies of each role.

In the event that the number of participant copies you order is not evenly divisible by the number of roles in the simulation, you will receive extra copies of one or more roles. Participants receiving the extra roles may partner with other participants playing the same role, thus negotiating as a team. So, for instance, if you ordered 31 copies of a 2-party role simulation, you would receive 15 copies of the first role and 16 copies of the second role. One of the participants playing the second role would partner with another participant playing that same role, and the two would negotiate as a team.