When cases settle involving a plaintiff who is less than 18 years old, oftentimes their recovery is paid out thru an annuity or contract that stretches out the payment over many years into the future. One of the reasons for doing this is to protect a young person from impulsively spending the entire recovery before they reach a mature age. J.G. Wentworth is in the business of purchasing these annuity contracts at a significant discount but it does require Court approval. On August 15, 2017, a Surrogate's Court Judge denied a motion by J.G. Wentworth to purchase an annuity with a present value of $351,000 for $245,000. This deal ("steal" in my opinion) would have produced a windfall profit of $105,000 with no risk for J.G. Wentworth. The injured plaintiff who had recently turned 18 had already spent $186,0000 and the Judge wisely protected the young plaintiff from himself.
The Court noted: "The payee (young plaintiff), who had waived receiving any independent advice...did not fully appreciate the long-term consequences of selling his payments. The court could not sanction an impulsive transfer for which there was no real urgency, particularly when it was diametrically opposed to the very purpose of of the Structured Settlement Protection Act to prevent rapid dissipation of payee's (plaintiff's) awards." 2017 WL 3324841