by John Darer CLU ChFC CSSC RSP
Tulsa Lawyer Dick Risk, a former disgruntled structured settlement producer who decided to take matters into his own hands, got a law degree and then started on a long journey (in conjunction with several other law firms) that resulted in a successful class action settlement, gloats that "His class action lawsuit was followed by the insurer’s exit from the structured settlement annuity marketplace". Source: Home page of Risk Law Firm website December 18, 2010 245pm EST
The fact that an alleged bad business practice was dealt with in the legal system is enough. The self-aggrandizing implication made by Dick Risk seems obvious, and thus he deserves to be called out on the carpet for making the implication.
The following is offered up for the consideration of my readers...
Even if one were to consider the life insurer's alleged role in the alleged business practice to be abhorrent and the "windfall" that Dick Risk and his legal colleagues obtained is a great result for each of the plaintiffs and as a deterrent to other insurers doing the same, what has Hartford Life Insurance Company's "exit from the structured settlement annuity marketplace" achieved in real terms for plaintiffs as we go forward?
- If we were to believe The Risk Law Firm implication, should we further congratulate Dick Risk because the result is a degree of erosion in competition due to having one less annuity issuer in the structured settlement annuity marketplace?
- Hartford Life Insurance Company was one of the few insurers in the marketplace that did not charge qualified assignment fees. They were especially useful on small cases as a result. Should Dick Risk now be further congratulated for exhibiting the "class" to "take credit" for something that ULTIMATELY HURTS small PLAINTIFFS?
- Even if one were to give Dick Risk credit for purportedly taking down Hartford Life Insurance Company's structured settlement annuity program, he DID NOT take down Hartford Life Insurance Company, or the The Hartford itself which incidently, is endorsed by the AARP, an association whose membership card Dick Risk qualifies to be carrying in his wallet. According to the AARP website, The Hartford insures its auto and homeowners' insurance programs.
- On a more fundamental level, was "his class action lawsuit" the actual reason that Hartford Life Insurance Company withdrew from the structured settlement annuity marketplace in October 2009?
- If the above were actually true, how many jobs were lost as the direct result of "his class action lawsuit" in the middle of a recession? Why would Dick Risk choose to gloat?
Fortunately Mr. Risk's legal colleagues have chosen not to imply that they were responsible for Hartford Life Insurance Company's withdrawal from the structured settlement market place.