ClaimStat Claims Management Tool

george washington bridge
New York City’s Comptroller Scott Stringer is planning to roll out “ClaimStat”, a data-driven claims management tool that will help the city identify patterns and practices that lead to lawsuits against the City. The goal is to help protect citizens and save taxpayer dollars.

Comptroller Stringer was quoted in the media saying that legal claims against the city are out of control. According to the “ClaimStat” website, judgments and settlements against the New York City Police Department (NYPD) in 2013 totaled $137.2 million. In addition to the NYPD, “ClaimStat” tracks claims against other city agencies like the Department of Parks and Recreation, Health and Hospitals Corporation, Department of Environmental Protection, and the Department of Sanitation.

“ClaimStat” has an interactive tool on the website where users can zoom in and see where the greatest number of claims are coming from. They also segmented the types of claims from personal injury, tree-related claims, sanitation vehicle property damage claims, and sewer overflow claims. According to the Comptroller’s office, other cities like Portland, Oregon are using similar data-driven approaches to better deal with claims management.

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Written by Lulaine Compere

2014 GTLA Auto Torts Workshop

palm treeJoseph Genovesi, President of RD Legal Funding, will be attending the 2014 Georgia Trial Lawyers Association Auto Torts Workshop. The event is being held from Thursday, July 17th through Saturday, July 19th at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation in Amelia Island, Florida. Some events of interest include:

  • Motorcycle Injury Litigation
  • Trying Low Impact, Soft Tissue Cases Efficiently and Effectively
  • Repair Shop Liability and Other 3rd Party Sources of Liability in Auto Cases
  • Couch v. DOC: What Part of Contingency Fees Can Be Recovered Under 9-11-68
  • Law Firm Management and Marketing
  • Effective Use of Treating Physicians in Motor Vehicle Accident Cases

There will also be a golf tournament, family cookout, and beach party with an open bar and volleyball. To view the schedule in its entirety, please click here. You can expect to earn 9 hours of CLE credits, including 3 hours of trial and 1 hour of ethics.

If you happen to be in the area, please stop by the RD Legal Funding booth. We’d love to say hello and discuss how our innovative and affordable post-settlement funding solutions can benefit your law firm’s cash flow. Safe travels and we hope to see you there!

Lawsuit Loan: A Misnomer that Matters

The below is a guest blog post courtesy of Legal Funding Central:

lfc-logoAt Legal Funding Central, we’re on a mission to educate the world about legal funding, which is why we created LFC360, an information site rich with news, guides and resources for all the many types of legal funding out there. We dedicate a significant portion of the site’s real estate to dispelling myths, falsehoods, and misconceptions about legal funding, the worst being when people think legal funding is a loan or use the misnomer lawsuit loan.

In fact, legal funding is not a loan – it’s an investment in a person, small business, or attorney’s legal case. And like all investments, if a case loses, there’s no further recourse against the person or entity that took the money.

The popularity of the term “lawsuit loans,” despite being a wholly inaccurate way to describe legal funding, provides insight into the different interested parties battling over legal funding. It’s been said that to name something is to own it. And that’s what opponents of legal funding are attempting.

Opponents of legal funding use the term lawsuit loan as a pejorative in order to make people feel like they may go into debt by obtaining it (which is never true since you never owe more than you get from your case, whether you’re a litigant or an attorney). Opponents also know that loans are subject to usury laws, something legal funding isn’t since the government typically doesn’t interfere with the rate of a return an investor gets on its investment.

However, detractors of legal funding aren’t the only guilty party to use the phrase “lawsuit loan.” Because lawsuit loan is a simple way to express something that consumers already have familiarity with (i.e. loans), proponents regularly abuse it, too. Admittedly, “Lawsuit loan” does succeed at painting a broad picture of what you’re getting – money against your lawsuit, so the problem is systemic. In fact, according to Google, lawsuit loan is one of the most frequent terms used by people searching for legal funding.

Legal funding can go by many names – lawsuit funding, legal finance, third-party funding, and many other permutations therein. Of course, at Legal Funding Central, we are partial to the term legal funding, but in reality there is no perfect term. However, there definitively is a wrong term, and that’s any that refers to legal funding as a loan. It does a disservice to the industry, mischaracterizes what legal funding is, and most of all provides ammunition to the people who are financially interested in seeing it die. It may be easier to refer to legal funding as lawsuit loans or legal loans, but it’s more dangerous, too, and it must stop.


This guest blog post was written by Dylan Beynon, co-founder of Legal Funding Central.  Legal Funding Central helps litigants and attorneys find the best legal funding to fit their case and their needs. LFC also provides educational news, information, and resources through its standalone content portal LFC360.

Medical Misdiagnosis

blue caduceusMedical misdiagnosis is a serious issue which can result in a patient’s death. In general, medical misdiagnosis can lead to lawsuits against the doctor and the hospital from the affected family. It falls under medical malpractice. Village Voice published a story titled Type Miscast: An Elmhurst Doctor’s Type 2 Diabetes Misdiagnosis Results in the Death of a Six-Year Old Girl, where Claudialee Gomez-Nicanor died because her doctor misdiagnosed her diabetes.

Nicanor’s story includes issues her doctor (Dr. Arlene Mercado) had in regards to her record, the suffering Nicanor went through just before she died, and how Mercado’s fatal misdiagnosis led to Nicanor not receiving the treatment she needed. Nicanor’s family ended up suing Mercado and winning their lawsuit. According to the story, Nicanor’s family won $100,000 for economic loss, $400,000 for her daughter’s pain, and $7.5 million in punitive damages.

The judge still has to decide the total amount Mercado has to pay. The story ends with Mercado keeping her license and administering treatment to a room full of patients. Medical malpractice is extremely dangerous and should have consequences. People who have suffered because of malpractice should push for their rights and demand justice and compensation in civil court.


Written by Lulaine Compere

9/11 Activist Sally Regenhard Appears on Tavis Talks

More News Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Tavis Smiley on BlogTalkRadio

On his new program “Tavis Talks,” Tavis Smiley interviewed activist for 9/11 victims, Sally Regenhard, whose son Christian was killed at Ground Zero on September 11th, 2001. She spoke to Tavis about the National September 11th Museum and her opposition to the unidentified remains being placed in the museum at the site. Tavis also recently interviewed 9/11 activist John Feal of the FealGood Foundation.

Regenhard is one of the most well-known activists for 9/11 families. She has been a vocal critic of former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. As a result of her activism, she has become more involved with politics. She testified at the 9/11 Commission and was part of the Skyscraper Safety Campaign.


Written by Lulaine Compere

VCF Program Stats as of June 30, 2014

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The Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) has released the latest statistics on claimants and their eligibility for receiving payment from the fund. As of June 30, 2014, the VCF reported of the 8,699 claims that have been certified, they have issued decisions on 81% of them with the remaining 19% under review to see if they meet the requirements.

In total since June 2014, there have been 15,600 total eligibility forms. Currently, 3,528 claimants have been deemed eligible for compensation with another 2,262 in review. 50.6% of applications have received decisions. 36% of compensation forms cannot be reviewed now.

The highest amount of compensation awarded is $2,796,064.70. The lowest amount is $10,000.00. To see more of the number breakdown and the different categories they apply to, review the chart made by the VCF at http://www.911healthwatch.org/files/VCF-Program-Statistics-Through-June-2014-FINAL.pdf.

If you have a Zadroga claim and would like to accelerate payment of your award, RD Legal Funding can help with their Post-Settlement Fee Acceleration Program. For more information, please visit http://www.legalfunding.com/eligible-cases/zadroga-bill-settlement-funding/ or call Joseph Genovesi, President of RD Legal, at 201-568-9007, ext. 140.

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Written by Lulaine Compere

National Directory of State Trial Lawyer Associations

scales of justiceThe American Association for Justice (AAJ) formerly known as the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA) has a national directory of state trial lawyer associations. For any trial attorney looking to add some heft to their resumes, there is an association in all 50 states. They are separate from the national organizations like AAJ and the National Trial Lawyers organization (NTL). So take a look at this directory, find your state trial attorney organization, and join them.

For trial attorneys just getting started, it is important for them to network with attorneys in their practice areas because opportunities are bound to come from a local source. Especially in the south, there has been and still is a “help your neighbor” mentality. Any organization, national or local, is all about networking and in the legal industry, attorneys refer cases to people they know. Aside from getting some tips about court, there are also educational classes that local trial attorney chapters offer to their members. Don’t miss out on a great opportunity.


Written by Lulaine Compere

H.R. 3143: Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act

golden scales of justice
The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act is a bill currently working its way through Congress that would amend the federal judicial code to impose liability on, and grant U.S. District Courts personal jurisdiction over any person who commits-or aids, abets, or conspires with a person who commits-an act of international terrorism that injures a U.S. national. It would also repeal provisions prohibiting civil actions against foreign states or foreign officials for damages related to acts of terrorism.

This bill would make it easier for the families of victims of terrorism to sue financiers of terror, including states. The bill is receiving support from the 9/11 Families United for Justice Against Terrorism organization. Their membership is made up of family members of GovTrack.US, a government transparency website that tracks bills in U.S. Congress and gives a percentage on the likelihood of the bill passing committee and being enacted.

The bill was introduced in 2013 by New York Congressional Representative Peter King. It currently has 18 co-sponsors. The Huffington Post and The Daily Beast have both published stories related to the issue of terror financing and the need for a bill like this.

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Written by Lulaine Compere

$395 Million Settlement for Hyundai and Kia Customers over Misstated Fuel-Economy Figures

silver hyundai
Hyundai and Kia have reached preliminary settlements related to lawsuits over misstated fuel-economy figures for certain models of cars from 2011-2013. The $395 million settlement covers specific vehicles of both companies from 2011-2013.

Approximately, 600,000 Hyundai vehicles were affected and 300,000 Kia vehicles were affected. According to Automobile Magazine, affected Hyundai customers who choose the one-time cash payment option will receive $353 and affected Kia customers would receive $667.

Kia Vehicles Affected

Rio
Sportage
Sorento
Soul
Soul Eco
Optima HEV

Hyundai Vehicles Affected 

Elantra
Sonata Hybrid
Accent
Azera
Genesis
Tucson
Veloster
Elantra Coupe
Elantra GT
Santa Fe Sport

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Written by Lulaine Compere

H.R. 4361: Sunshine in Litigation Act of 2014

golden gavel
The proposed legislation, which has been introduced in the House of Representatives-if passed in both the House and the Senate and signed into law by the President of the United States-would prohibit any court from restricting the disclosure of stated information which was obtained through discovery, or approving a settlement agreement that would restrict such disclosure or restrict access to those court records.

The supporters of the bill say it’s in the public’s interest that such disclosure be made available and that disclosure far outweighs the interest of confidentiality. The bill was sponsored and introduced by New York Congressman Jerrold Nadler.

GovTrack.us is a government transparency website that tracks the bills in the U.S. Congress. They give the bill a 5% chance of getting past the committee and a 2% chance of being enacted. Nadler said, “This would prevent companies like General Motors and others from concealing evidence of wrongdoing that puts our public health and safety at risk.”


Written by Lulaine Compere