COURT CASE MAKES CLEAR, DEFENSE STRUCTURED SETTLEMENT BROKERS HAVE NO FIDUCIARY RESPONSIBILITY TO PLAINTIFFS. SO WHY WOULD ANY TRIAL LAWYER USE A DEFENSE BROKER NOW?
In this week's video commentary, I take a deeper look at the issues being revealed in last week's decision in USDC of Oregon. A decision in which defense brokers argued, and the court agreed, that no fiduciary relationship exists between a defense structured settlement broker and the injured plaintiff who relies upon their advice regarding the selection of the life company that funds their injury settlement.
Knowing this is the position of the brokers and courts, the question now becomes, why would any trial lawyer settle a case using a structured settlement where they did not engage a plaintiff broker who would have a clear fiduciary responsibility to the injured party? Have trial lawyers been so seduced by years of financial contributions to trial lawyer associations from defense structured settlement firms, or has it just become routine to deal with one broker and to not bother with engaging your own expert?
I also discuss the increasing outside scrutiny of the process by which political figures in New York decided to liquidate ELNY and why that process is still shrouded in secrecy two years after it occurred. I believe it is time for trial lawyers to stop passively taking at face value the defense industry narrative on how structured settlements are used, sold and funded when it comes to assisting your injured clients. Trial lawyers have the right to engage experts, create Qualified Settlement Funds and control the process by which the financial settlement decisions are made for you and your clients, so why aren't they doing it?