Bill Cosby Settlement Looming with CA Accuser Criminal Case on the Line

EXCLUSIVE

1230_bill_cosby_chloe_goins_tmzBill Cosby is defending a case brought by a female accuser that could be even more serious than the criminal case that was just filed ... but we've learned Cosby and the woman may be close to a secret settlement.

Chloe Goins has sued Cosby for sexual assault, claiming he drugged and sexually abused her at the Playboy Mansion in 2008. Goins filed suit October 6th ... but something curious has happened, or should we say, hasn't happened.

We checked the file and there's been absolutely no activity in the case. In fact, Cosby was never served with the lawsuit. The court requires service within 90 days, which means Chloe is days away from the deadline. If Cosby isn't served, the case will almost certainly be dismissed.

Sources connected to the case tell TMZ, the reason why nothing has happened in the case is because both sides have been talking settlement, although no agreement has been reached.

A settlement could be critical, because the L.A. County D.A. is reviewing the case to determine if Cosby should be prosecuted. Our sources say the D.A. is leaning toward filing charges.

If Goins settles the civil case it could severely undermine any criminal case, especially if Goins agrees to a confidentiality clause ... something Cosby would almost certainly insist upon.