by John Darer CLU ChFC MSSC CeFT RSP CLTC
The legal malpractice lawsuit against Philadelphia personal injury law firm Anapol Weiss, arising from legal representation concerning a 1986 structured settlement, finally settled in March 2023. The compromise followed a pair of Motions in Limine by Defendants to Bar Plaintiff's tax expert, and to preclude evidence on tax liability, which was granted by United States District Court Judge Karen M. Willams on Valentine's Day 2023. Had tax testimony been admitted it would have magnified the damages but might not have made the plaintiff any more whole. Instead, in settling, the parties focused on building a case for the damages being tax-free under the "human capital" concept set forth in O'Gilvie v 519 U.S, at 86.
The late Paul Anapol and/or his staff's unfortunate mistake on a "Recapitulation/Distribution Statement" in 1986, could've easily been avoided instead of becoming an example for the ages of what can go wrong when people are not paying attention to critical details.
It was a long and arduous road for Plaintiff Eric Nels Yerkes who, as a teenager on August 18, 1981, sustained "severe and permanent injuries in a plane crash near the Grand Canyon". Yerkes retained Anapol Weiss and its late founder Paul Anapol to bring a personal injury lawsuit.