While many plaintiff lawyers today DO engage settlement planners or certified structured settlement consultants as part of their team, there are enough who don't, making this story a stark reminder of why a lawyer SHOULD NOT be "flying solo" when dispensing financial advice.
I was aroused from my slumber this morning, by an ELNY victim bearing questions concerning the ELNY Hardship Fund. The ELNY victim received an Executive Life Insurance Company of New York structured settlement in 1985 as part of the resoluton of a wrongful death lawsuit stemming from her husband's death. I asked her why all of her settlement eggs were placed in a single basket when it was widely known about Baldwin United and Charter National failures* in 1982 and 1983 as well as the increasing junk bond holdings of First Executive.
The widow, who is facing a 30% reduction in benefits, says she put 100% trust in her lawyer, who got her a great recovery on the one hand, but clearly did not follow the well worn adage of "not to put all ones eggs in the same basket" while he was "taking care of everything".
A quarter of century later settlement planning experts offer both knowledge and compassion to survivors of those who have died as the result of an aviation disaster, auto accident, medical malpractice or other negligence.
John D. Darer is a Registered Settlement Planner and Certified Structured Settlement Consultant. For a settlement planning consultaton with John D. Darer please call 888-325-8640 toll-free in the uSA, or 203-325-8640 local.
* note that while these were the two prolific issuers of annuities at the time, these two companies were relatvely small and did not offer structured settlement annuities.