Legal Question in Personal Injury in Florida

Structured Settlement

My grandson is about to turn 18. In 1997, he was involved in an accident and a structured settlement was agreed upon, which was to start when he turned 18. I have been to the court house and although there is mention of the structure settlement to resolve the case, there is no mention of where this settlement (annuity) is set up. The lawyer for the other side says it was our lawyer who was responsible for setting it up. Our lawyers says he no longer has the file for the case and he was not involved in setting up the annuity and would have no knowledge of who did. How do I find out where the annuity is located? Is there a standard way they are set up and who does that?

Asked on 6/25/07, 5:32 pm

3 Answers from Attorneys

David Slater David P. Slater, Esq.

Re: Structured Settlement

This does not smell right. I suggest you retain counsel to investigate. Good luck.

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Answered on 6/25/07, 8:40 pm
Scott R. Jay Law Offices of Scott R. Jay

Re: Structured Settlement

NOTE: This communication is not intended as and should not be interpreted as legal advice. Rather, it is intended solely as a general discussion of legal principles. You should not rely on or take action based on this communication without first presenting ALL relevant details to a competent attorney in your jurisdiction and then receiving the attorney's individualized advice for you. By reading the "Response" to your question or comment, you agree that the opinion expressed is not intended to, nor does it, create any attorney-client relationship, nor does it constitute legal advice to any person reviewing such nformation, nor will it be considered an attorney-client privileged communication. If you do not agree, then stop right here, and do not read any further.

Your grandson's attorney should know where the annuity is located and how it was set up. I would find it highly unlikely that "he no longer has the file for the case and he was not involved in setting up the annuity and would have no knowledge of who did." I would demand that he located his file.

In the interim, you may wish to go to the courthouse and see if the file is still available. It will probably be in the warehouse but available upon order. As a minor, the court would require all settlements to be approved by the judge in the case. All pertinent information should be contained therein. Further, the court may have appointed a Guardian Ad Litem/Attorney Ad Litem for your grandson. Check this out and, if so, ask him or her to view the file.

Do it sooner, rather than later, as files are periodically destroyed. You may also be able to find the final judgment recorded in the public records and it may make mention of the annuity. As a last resort, you can contact the lawyer for the other side to obtain the cancelled check to see where it was cashed.

If all this fails, it is time to consult a new attorney to conduct an investigation.

Scott R. Jay, Esq.

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Answered on 6/25/07, 8:48 pm
Alan Wagner Wagner McLaughlin, P.A.

Re: Structured Settlement

Your grandson's lawyer should have the necessary information about the annuity. If he does not, something is amiss. Ask the attorney for the closing statement, which surely he has retained. Your grandson's parents would also be involved and may have information.

Any settlement with a minor would need to be approved by a court. Before that happens, the court appoints a guardian ad litem to review the proposed settlement and report to the court. Look in the court file and you will learn the name and contact infirmation of the guardian ad litem. He or she may have the information as well.

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Answered on 6/25/07, 11:01 pm

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