The Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune's Jim Foti reports on the task faced by the Special Master panel of lawyers to fairly allocate slices of the fund created by the Minnesota State Legislature to compensate survivors of the I-35W Bridge Collapse disaster of August 1, 2007 . A portion of the article contains misinformation about structured settlements that appears to be jointly attributed to Susan Holden Chairwoman of the Special Master Fund as well as Mr. Foti through his analysis which says:
"Settlements given to minors, such as the kids who were on the school bus, are put in special interest-bearing accounts that aren't available until the child is an adult, although some of the money can be used before then for medical expenses. Holden said some survivors had been wary of such "structured settlements" because of the troubles on Wall Street, but the companies that provide such settlements must meet strict requirements and settlements involving minors must be court-approved".
Section 540.08 of the 2008 Minnesota Statutes provides that upon petition of the parent, "the court may order that the property received be invested in securities issued by the United States, which shall be deposited pursuant to the order of the court, or that the property be invested in a savings account, savings certificate, certificate of deposit, or share certificate, in a bank, savings association, trust company, credit union in which either the depositor or beneficiary is a member, or an annuity or other form of structured settlement, subject to the order of the court".
Rule 145 of the Minnesota General Rules of Practice for District Courts deals with Actions on behalf of minors and incompetents and Mr. Foti and the Star Tribune would have been well advised to read these rules prior to writing an article which provides misinformation.
FACT: A structured settlement is NOT "a special interest bearing account". Foti has mislabeled interest bearing depository accounts that are set forth in Section 540.08 of the 2008 Minnesota statutes and 145.05(d) and 145.05(e) of the above cited rules as structured settlements. Rule 145.06 deals with structured settlements for minors. Rule 145.06(b) requires that the company issuing the structured settlement be:
Rule 145.06(b)(3) also permits a structured settlement trust making periodic payments funded by United States Government obligations (United Stated Treasury Bond Structured Settlement)