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Plaintiff Requests Structured Settlement, New York Court Decides


A settlement funding company commenced an action seeking an approval of the transfer of certain structured settlement payment rights from a man under a purchase contract.

The twenty-one year old man and his girlfriend were expecting their first child. The man is unemployed. He does not state whether he receives unemployment benefits or any other source of income. Under a settlement agreement of a previous lawsuit which was for personal injury resulting from lead poisoning, he is entitled to receive $30,000 and $42,629.76. He should have already received $12,500 and an up-front payment of $20,163.76 at the time of the initial settlement. Other than the expected medical costs related to his girlfriend’s pregnancy and delivery of the baby, he didn’t provide any other information with regard to his current expenses.

The man then seeks to transfer his right to receive half of each of the aforementioned payments, totaling $36,314.76, in exchange for a lump sum of $14,600.00. The settlement funding company states that the amount represents 43.80% of the estimated current value of the payments using applicable federal rates. The stated purpose of the transfer is to pay his girlfriend’s medical expenses associated with her pregnancy and the birth of their baby, to purchase a used car and to rent an apartment of his own. The man states that he will be able to afford his own apartment soon and that he will find work soon but he provides no details regarding his education, skills, employment history or job search. He only states that he had a job that ended because it was seasonal. The company advised the man in writing to seek independent professional advice regarding the transaction and he has waived receiving such advice.

The man has twice before sought to exchange his right to receive certain future amounts for immediate lump sums. Consequently, his application to transfer his rights to certain of those structured settlement payments was granted and the additional application to transfer his rights to certain structured settlement payments was denied.

Based on records, the structured settlement protection act was enacted as a result of a concern that structured settlement payees are especially prone to being victimized and taken advantage of by businesses seeking to acquire their structured settlement rights. The act discourages such transfers by requiring the transferee to commence a special proceeding to obtain judicial approval of such transfers. The act also requires that certain procedural and substantive safeguards be followed before structured settlement payments may be transferred.

Apparently, the court finds that the complainant’s submission meets all of the procedural mandates of the act. However, the court is unable to conclude that the proposed transaction is in the man’s best interest. The man is unemployed and has not supplied any information about his education, skills or job search. Despite the fact that the court lauds his intentions to help his girlfriend with the medical expenses of her pregnancy, he has no legal obligation to do so. He also waived any professional advice regarding the transaction. It is not clear that the man appreciates the amount of the discount he would be getting on the transfer. The court’s unable to conclude that the terms of the proposed transaction are fair and reasonable. The value of the payment to the man is only 43.8% of its present value and the court cannot find it fair and reasonable. Finally, the man admits that the terms of the transaction are similar to those rejected but does not provide any information as to how they differ. For that reason, the application for legal approval of the transfer of interest is denied.

Newborns, children and elderly are persons who have weaker immune system. They are susceptible to diseases from the environment as well as from the people around them. If your child was harmed because of someone’s negligent action, ask help from the Kings County Personal Injury Lawyers or Kings County Injury Attorneys. However, if you’re newborn suffered from birth injury, the Kings County Birth Injury Lawyer at Stephen Bilkis and Associates can offer you legal in pursuing your case.

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