AIG Structured Settlement RICO lawsuit, what should planners do next?
Earlier this week a news rolled over the structured settlement profession in the form of a lawsuit filed in the US District Court, Boston MA, alleging a RICO type conspiracy by AIG and the structured settlement brokers who are part of their Agency Partners or approved list programs.
The case was filed by the nationally respected class action firm of Hagen Berman and is focused on the contention that the format and business practices of the AIG program were part of a scheme that rose to the level of a RICO type conspiracy. Whether or not this is in fact the case will be determined by the courts in the coming months and years. However, given the sheer size and scope of the AIG program, you can’t underestimate the importance and impact of this news on the settlement profession as well as claims professionals and trial lawyers nationwide.
Mark Wahlstrom, the President of Wahlstrom & Associates and the host of the Settlement Channel, which is featured on the Legal Broadcast Network, provided some commentary and suggestions for structured settlement professionals in the area of crisis management. As an industry leader and expert in new media communication, Wahlstrom suggests that the profession take a proactive and transparent approach through directly informing trial lawyers of the lawsuit and it's implications on settlements. In his words, It is not time to ignore an obvious problem or argue the facts of the case, but use this as an opportunity to discuss the importance of structured settlements and how they can be designed so as to benefit the injured party and protect the trial lawyer from possibly making uniformed decisions as to their rights in the design and placement of the annuity involved.
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