In an important ruling for trial lawyers and defense attorneys, the US District Court in Puerto Rico ruled on an issue that has bothered lawyers for decades as to whether a trial lawyer or plaintiff can rely on the representations of a defense structured settlement broker as to the value or tax implications of a structured settlement annuity.
In a special edition of Speaking of Justice, Mark Wahlstrom and John Darer review the case and the facts surrounding it. The case of Yanisse Adrian v Mesirow Structured Settlements, LLC was heard by US District Court Judge Francisco Besosa and he granted the defendants summary judgement motion and dismissed the case.
The details are covered hear on John Darer's blog page, with links to the ruling and an explantion of the decision.
As we cover in this video interview, and will cover in greater detail in follow up conversations, it is now quite clear that a US Federal court has recognized what many of us in the structured settlement profession have been saying for decades. That being that every single plaintiff and their attorney must seek out independent, credible advice on a structured settlement BEFORE the settlement is agreed to and independent of the defense and their broker. No matter how well meaning or informed a defense broker is, their duty as this case indicates, is clearly to assist the defense and their carrier and it is the duty of the trial lawyer to obtain similar advice and counsel for their client.
Watch for more on this case and further follow up next week.