Three Cases that Every Personal Injury Attorney Should Know

Nobody understands risk and liability better than a Personal Injury Attorney. Unfortunately, the nature of the profession makes its practitioners the ideal target. As a result, the settlement planning process can be a mine field of liability.

To illustrate this reality, we’ve collected three of the most noteworthy national precedents that outline the extent of attorney vulnerability and the importance of expert settlement planning.

Lyons v. Medical Malpractice Insurance Association, 730 NYS 2nd 345, (A.D. 2 Dept.2001)

The Judge indicated that MMI (defendant) contended that the plaintiffs could have and should have independently determined the value for themselves! This problem most likely would never have occurred had plaintiff’s counsel retained their own expert with a duty and loyalty to the plaintiff. That is why ACS surveys the entire market and finds the best programs available with the highest quality companies.

Macomber v. Travelers Property and Casualty Corp., 261 Conn 620 (2002)

The plaintiffs agreed to settle their case for cash and periodic payments (a structured settlement annuity). Plaintiffs alleged that Travelers Casualty misrepresented the fundamental nature and terms of the settlements because they did not disclose the true cost or value of the annuity that was to fund the structured settlement. Plaintiffs alleged that Travelers engaged in practices that enabled them to pay less for the annuities than what they represented to the plaintiffs. The Connecticut Supreme Court labeled these practices “rebating and short-changing schemes.”

Josephine Grillo, as guardian and next friend for Christina Grillo, a minor v. Tom L. Pettielle, T.E. Swate and Hardy, Milutin & Johns, in the 96th District Court of Tarrant County; Texas, Cause NO> 96-145090-92

A plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit settled a decade ago sued her own attorneys and guardian ad litem for legal malpractice because she was not presented with the option of a structured settlement. A simple tool for plaintiff’s counsel is to provide an Acknowledgement Letter that a structure offer was presented and signed by plaintiff that the offer is Accepted or Rejected.


About Bill Tilley

Bill Tilley, President and Chief Executive Officer – Bill Tilley is the President and CEO of Amicus Capital Services LLC and is responsible for managing day to day operations, marketing, originations and client relations. In addition Mr. Tilley serves on the credit committee along with the three other members. For the past ten years Mr. Tilley has been devoted to creating and then fine-tuning the legal finance industry. Mr. Tilley joined Themis Capital in 1999, launching the legal finance industry in California. Within two years California became the largest market for legal loans. Mr. Tilley was instrumental in growing Themis from $12 million in loans upon his arrival to more than $135 million in less than 4 years. After successfully winding down the Themis portfolio in 2004, Mr. Tilley became the largest broker of legal financial services while consulting exclusively for Counsel Financial Services through 2006. He continued his devotion to creating a full service financial services company that caters exclusively to the legal community leading to the launch of Amicus Capital Services, LLC in early 2007. In 2008 Mr. Tilley expanded Amicus’ financial offerings to include structured settlement/ fee products as well as financial advisory services. Mr. Tilley has personally originated more than $100 million in attorney loans and has participated in the origination of more than $200 million. Mr. Tilley counts several of the most successful plaintiff attorneys in the country as personal friends and has developed a network that includes thousands of invaluable industry contacts. As an expert on legal finance Mr. Tilley has spoken numerous times at attorney conferences throughout the country. In addition Mr. Tilley was recognized on Public Justices wall of honor for his efforts in promoting the non-profit public interest association.
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