Last week we discussed the growing phenomenon of lawsuit lenders and their potentially harmful effects on unaware personal injury plaintiffs who find themselves owing lenders a significant part of their eventual settlement check. Because lenders designate themselves as investors or financers, they remain out of the realm of state or federal regulation of lenders, which is how they are able to charge exorbitantly high interest rates (up to 100 percent) and withhold information from plaintiffs.
When Larry Long suffered a stroke due to his consumption of prescription pain medication Vioxx, it resulted in significant harm, both physical and financial. He became dangerously close to foreclosure while waiting for a settlement from a class-action lawsuit, and had to explore his diminishing options until he could receive the money he knew was coming. He decided to take out a loan from lawsuit lender Oasis Legal Finance in the amount of $9,150 to tide him over until his settlement came through. When he finally received his settlement of $27,000 a mere 18 months later, Long found himself owing Oasis over $23,000.
It appears that Toyota's legal troubles will not end anytime soon. In September, just over one year after a tragic car accident took the lives of an off-duty police officer and three of his family members, Toyota settled a lawsuit with the family of the deceased. Although the details of the settlement were kept under wraps for several months, it was recently revealed that Toyota agreed to pay the family $10 million.
After 35 long years, peace was finally felt by one New Jersey family. A settlement was reached this week for $10 million in a civil lawsuit filed in December of 2008 for the wrongful death of Susan R. The family plans to donate the entire settlement to her alma mater, Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia for a scholarship they established in her name.