by John Darer CLU ChFC MSSC CeFT RSP CLTC
M.C. suffered a critical brain injury while at a Buffalo day care. According to a Buffalo News article by Lou Michel published in December 2019 shortly after the case settled with Allstate, she will receive a $200,000 settlement to resolve her family's lawsuit against Mozee's Ultimate Family Daycare. Buffalo attorney William P. Moore, of Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria LLP, is quoted citing the reasons why the structured settlement was established and the specifics of the structured settlement including the amounts and timing of the structured settlement payments.
Publicity of Minor's identity in a Newspaper and Specifics of Payments Subverts Court Protections
The Administrative Board of the Courts approved the adoption of section 202.5(e) of the Uniform Rules of the Supreme and County Courts (22 NYCRR 202.5(e)) - requiring attorneys to omit or redact certain confidential personal information from court filings in Supreme and County Court. This rule became effective on January 1, 2015. The Chevere case settled in 2019 and the article by Lou MIchel in the Buffalo News was published December 16, 2019.
The publicity of the terms of the structured settlement (non-artfully referred to by the Buffalo News as a " structured annuity settlement"), that benefit the reporter, the newspaper, the newspaper's advertisers, or the attorney, and his law firm for marketing purposes, does no service to the attorney's infant client. Any attorney who publishes the specific terms of a minor's settlement is exposing the minor and paving the way to the inevitable harassment that will occur when the cash now vultures start circling at or around the time she reaches age 18. From there it is possible that she could be bamboozled into selling her payments for pennies on the dollar.
Lawyers and reporters alike should think about the consequences of their actions before placing a vulnerable infant in harm's way. Be smart. Don't feed the vultures!