by Structured Settlement Watchdog®
It was disturbing to learn that a personal injury lawyer in a position of superior knowledge and trust, may have taken financial advantage of a personal injury client by entering into a structured settlement factoring transaction using an offshore company controlled by the lawyer and shafting his client for in excess of $1 million spread, in an awful deal that bears an effective discount rate in excess of 22% when a fair cost of money would have been less than a third of that amount. That's not all. The documents submitted to Acadia Parish (twice) each contained false representations to the Court as to the discount rate and the documents in public record show the client's and his wife's social security numbers in plain text. And I have more which I will save for a follow up post. The operative question is "Is it even kosher for a personal injury lawyer to buy his client's structured settlement?"
- Bobby James Bourque and Peggy Bourque hired Lafayette, LA and Houston, TX personal injury lawyer David Patrick Daniel, Jr. to handle his lawsuit against CNH America, LLC filed in August 2010, with the caption Bourque v CNH America, LLC et al. Western District of Louisiana 6:10-cv-013247.
- Attorney Daniel goes by Patrick Daniel and markets himself through the website goodguylafayette.com There does not appear to be a website for his Houston office.
- The lawsuit arose out of a horrific accident in which a tractor gas cap blew off the gas tank showering Bobby James Bourque with gasoline which ignited on October 6, 2007. Rachel Ann Martin-Decklemann, also of Daniel & Associates is listed as co-counsel.
- The lawsuit settled in July 2015 and the terms of settlement included as part consideration, a structured settlement with Prudential Insurance Company of America that was due to pay the Bourques more than $6,000/month in certain periodic payments for 15 years, with a huge balloon payment of $2,000,000 at the end of the 15 years.
- On October 2, 2015, a for profit company called D&A Litigation Support, LLC was formed in Puerto Rico (register 363564), according to its most recent annual report which shows David P. Daniel as the authorized person. Download D&A Litigation Support LLC 2016 Puerto Rico annual report (retrieved 11/30/2017)
- The Texas Bar listing for Daniel's law firm is Daniel & Associates, LLC David Patrick Daniel " Patrick" Daniel Jr. State Bar of Texas listing . David Patrick Daniel Jr. Louisiana Bar listing
December 2016 Petition to Transfer Structured Settlement Payment Rights
- A little over a year after concluding the personal injury case for the Bourques in which Attorney Daniel would had to have advised his client to take a structured settlement, D&A Litigation Support, LLC the Puerto Rico Company, for which the authorized person is David P. Daniel, hired Harvey, LA lawyer Jennifer R. Theriot to represent D& A Litigation Support LLC as the buyer, for its acquisition of ALL of the structured settlement payment rights of Bobby Bourque and his wife Peggy Bourke. In the ExParte Petition filed the Acadia Parish, bearing docket Number 2016 11173-G.
- According to the transfer agreement the Bourques were selling 180 payments of $6,786.35 per month from July 15, 2018 through June 15, 2033 and a lump sum payment of $2,000,000 on June 15, 2033. The purchase price was $400,000 for in excess of $3,221,543 in certain future payments.
- In the Affidavit of Bobby Bourke and Peggy Bourke signed December 16, 2016 at #5 they indicate that "I have discussed other options...". With whom did they discuss these options. With Daniel, the same attorney who they trusted and now effectively is an adversarial position to their interests?
- Shocking! The disclosure statement submitted by or on behalf of D&A Litigation Support LLC appears to be a fraud on the Court. Exhibit 3 Paragraph 6 states fraudulently that "Based on the net amount you will receive from us and the amounts an timing of the structured settlement payments that you are turning over to us, you will, in effect be paying interest to us at a rate of 6% per year. Today I received two separate T Value calculations from two independent sources who said that the effective discount rate was in fact in excess of 22%
- Less than one year later the telephone number for D&A Litigation Support, LLC listed on the Bourque Transfer Petition was a non-working number when I attempted to dial it on November 30, 2017. Incredibly both Bobby and Peggy Bourque's social security numbers were left in plain text on the court documents which are public record.
- Judge Laurie A. Hulia signed the Transfer Order on December 27, 2016.
- The Order was served on Prudential by certified mail. Apparently there were irregularities that led to the need to file an amended transfer petition.
June 2017 Amended Petition to Transfer Structured Settlement Payment Rights
- On June 19, 2017, Attorney Jennifer Theriot submits a Motion and Order to Leave to File Amended Disclosure Statement. Of note Therior, again the attorney for the Buyer, whose authorized rep is the Bourque's personal injury attorney, says that the Disclosure statement must be amended with an updated Applicable Federal Rate and discounted present value. The applicable federal rate shown is 2.4% compared to 0.68% for the December 2016 petition but the discounted PV is shown as almost double. Usually a higher discount rate means lower present value. Is there different math in Harvey Louisiana?
- The list of expenses is different between the two disclosure statements as well and the net amount to the seller is reduced to $396,000 after deduction expenses.
- More apparent fraud on the Court as the effective discount rate is shown to be 13.2% when again it is in excess of 22%. This is an absolutely shocking disparity.
- And the clueless court says that D&A is in compliance with Louisiana law.
Stay tuned for my future post about who gave the "Independent Professional Advice" given in this case, a mandatory requirement under the Louisiana Structured Settlement Protection Act, and which insurance broker is pushing this deal to investors.
Louisiana Purchase Needs to Be Investigated
In my opinion the Acadia Parish Court and the State Bars of Louisiana and Texas must conduct a comprehensive investigation into the Bourque deal. The scuttlebutt is that the payments that D&A Litigation Support LLC bought are currently being shopped to multiple tertiary buyers at a 7% discount rate through a broker in the Midwest and nobody is biting. 7% or less might have been a fair rate for Mr Daniel personal injury client (whose legal settlement earned Daniel a contingency fee of at least 1/3 just over a year earlier), not the "greedy bastard" rate of 22%+