by Structured Settlement Watchdog®,
Disabled New Yorker exploited by Florida Structured Settlement Factoring Companies for BIg Bucks is Fighting Back
On the night of Oct. 15, 2003, James McMillan a worker at the Fulton Fish Market was near the bow of Staten Island Ferry vessel Andrew J. Barberi , when it barreled into the ferry terminal at full speed. McMillan was pinned face down by debris and several bones in his spine were crushed, rendering him permanently quadriplegic. About 1,500 passengers were aboard, in what was then reported as one of the worst transportation disasters in the New York City history. The assistant captain operating the ferry blacked out at the wheel. The city was held liable for the crash because there were not two captains in the pilot house at the time of the crash, as required by city rules. The pilot who blacked out, Richard J. Smith, and the city’s ferry director, Patrick Ryan, both pleaded guilty to negligent manslaughter
McMillan retained personal injury lawyer New York Evan Torgan, recognized as one of the Top 100 trial lawyers in the United States, to represent him in his legal action against the City of New York. A jury awarded James McMillan $10.3 million for future medical expenses, $685,000 for past medical expenses, $7.4 million for future pain and suffering and $4.6 million for the pain and suffering he had experienced so far. Judge Jack Weinstein reduced the award for future medical expenses to $5.6 million but left the rest of the verdict intact. [James McMillan v City of New York United States District Court Eastern District of New York 03-CV-6049 and 08-CV-2887]
The matter settled in early 2009 for in excess of $18,000,000. Pursuant to the Settlement Agreement and Release with the City of New York executed in February by Macmillan on February 6, 2009 and City of New York February 2009, When the litigation was resolved, $5,000,000 was structured for the long term benefit of Mr. Macmillan with time payments a large structured settlement was established that would initially pay James Macmillan over $18,417.67 per month ($221,024.04 annually) income tax free, with payments increasing at 3% compounded annually. The payments were funded roughly evenly between with annuities from five different New York admitted life insurers for prudent diversification, Allstate Life Insurance Company of New York, Pacific Life and Annuity, New York Life Insurance Company, Hartford Life Insurance Company and John Hancock Life Insurance Company
By 2013 McMillan's payments had increased to $248,768.50 annualized diversified, tax free income with 3% raises every year for the rest of his life..
The First Vulture Appears Novatione Capite Vulturis
In 2012, the first cash now vulture, Novation Capital, LLC , attempted to get at James McMillan's structured settlement and failed. Novation Capital proposed to buy 9 years of payments with a present value of $182,129.08 in exchange for $80,000. The effective interest rate was 19.43%, which was more than 10% in excess of the discount rate charged by Allstate Life Insurance Company of New York, under its Advanced Funding Exchange Program (AFEN). It's an utter disgrace that new management at Novation Capital would likely want to bury, along with the Cedric Thomas story as they falsely market maximum payouts.
In dismissing the petition on January 11, 2013, Judge Gerald E. Loehr, recognized that "McMillan(sic)...proposes to use the proceeds to pay outstanding bills, under the misapprehension that if he did not, such creditors could levy on his structured settlement payments". Moreover the judge recognized just how bad Novation's discount rate was.
"If At First You Don't Succeed" Where The Guy Lives, "Try and Try Again", in Sumter County Florida. NINE TIMES in 2013!
Until the 2016 Florida structured settlement factoring reforms, Judge Michelle Morley's court room in Sumter County Florida fostered optimal conditions for financial exploitation of critically injured people with structured settlements. Like former Judge Sword in Portsmouth Virginia and former Judge Dawson in Princes Georges County Maryland, Sumter was among the factoring industry's structured settlement "kill zones" of choice. Like stoners with the munchies, various structured settlement factoring companies "scarfed up" all they could of James McMillan's structured settlement in a gluttonous feast at Judge Michelle Morley's judicial "house".
Sumter County Case Numbers
13-CA-710 Allstate Life Insurance Company of New York
13-CA-711 Pacific Life and Annuity Company
13-CA-782-Hartford Life Insurance Company
13-CA-941 New York Life Insurance Company
13-CA-1099 Allstate Life Insurance Company
13-CA-1100 Pacific Life and Annuity Company
13-CA-1106 Hartford Life Insurance Company
13-CA-1113 New York Life Insurance Company
13-CA-1381 John Hancock Life Insurance Company
Structured Settlement Annuitant Seeks to Rescind Nine Forum Shopped Ex-Parte Structured Settlement Transfer Orders
With reference to the above captioned transfers in Sumter, McMillan has lawyered up. [See In re: Assignment of Certain Structured Settlement Payments of James V McMillan 2013 CA0007]
McMillan alleges that Seneca One, LLC, Structured Asset Funding and Settlement Capital Services Plus LLC engaged in civil theft, exploitation of the disabled and a systematic scheme to defraud McMillan and the Court in Sumter County. [The named companies are all buyers of structured settlement payment rights and the combined total value is staggering, on the level of a Terrence Taylor]
- that Sumter County was not a proper venue or jurisdiction to sell or transfer McMillan's structured settlement payments. McMillan argues that this is a jurisdictional argument that must be fixed by the court as the court was baited into erroneously exercising jurisdiction based on petitioner's original filings.
- That clear anti-assignment language in the Settlement Agreement and Release requires application of New York law and prohibited the petotioner's motions and the orders they obtained by the court.
- That even if these to fatal defects did not exist, the procedural irregularity in which both petitioners sought payment transfers expert without actual notice to McMillan as the affected payee deprived him of fundamental due process, notice, or opportunity to be heard.
In his September 24, 2018 filing, McMillan seeks the court to rescind the 9 orders issued against him ex parte by Judge Morley. In the alternative McMillan asks that the court order the New York Life, John Hancock, Pacific Life and Annuity, Allstate Life Insurance Company of New York to make their scheduled payments into the court registry pending full resolution of McMillan's claims against petitioner's and their agents
McMillan Argues Sumter DID NOT have Original Jurisdiction as the Structured Settlement Payment Rights Were Governed Exclusively By New York Law
McMillan outlined in his emergency motion that since the original lawsuit was from New York, the original settlement agreement requires application of New York law, and in 2013, at all times relevant, McMillan was domiciled in New York state (from 2009-2015), not Florida. McMillan contends that at the urging of petitioners the Court improperly exercised jurisdiction over McMillan and improperly exercised in rem jurisdiction over the structured settlement payment rights. McMillan contends that by entering orders without proper jurisdiction that the court inadvertently created a series of nullities, void orders that should be immediately vacated.
New York law provides that a transfer can only take place here the payee resides or in the court that approved the original agreement (i.e. Rockland County or the Eastern District of New York). The provisions cannot be waived. NY Law also provides that any petitioner set forth prior transfers and that the payee must attend the final hearing, unless excused for good cause. McMillan did not attend any of the 9 hearings.
McMillan Alleges Never Lived at the Orlando Address SAF and Seneca Used in Transfer Petitions and Never Received Service of Process
McMillan did not establish domicile in Florida until June 9, 2015, long after the 9 questioned transfers occurred.
There were two further petitions in subsequent years in Broward and Charlotte Counties. McMillan intends to file additional actions in those two counties as well.
TO BE CONTINUED in Part 2