divorce rates after catastrophic injuryYou made it through litigation, and now you’re facing another unexpected obstacle in your life: divorce. Our experience at Milestone has shown that unfortunately, this situation is all too common. After their case concludes and their settlement money is about to arrive, many of our catastrophically injured clients find themselves at the beginning of a divorce.

A personal injury, combined with the rigors of litigation, can put a huge strain on couples and families. Statistically, divorce rates increase dramatically for couples devastated by a disabling injury. The rate is even higher among parents whose child becomes disabled.

A settlement recovery from a personal injury lawsuit is, of course, meant to cover the plaintiff’s related medical bills and other needs for the rest of his or her life. But without proper planning ahead of time, that money will likely be considered a marital asset during divorce. That means there’s a chance an injured plaintiff will have to share some of the money with his or her ex.

Protecting Your Settlement from Becoming a Marital Asset

Across various states, a statute of limitations (usually of six to nine months) bars claims from spouses. If your case is about to settle and you believe divorce is imminent, it’s critical to act immediately. A comprehensive settlement planning firm can guide you through the process of protecting your settlement and ensuring the full amount remains yours after divorce.

One avenue many of our clients take is an asset protection trust, which protects against judgments, creditors, bankruptcy, divorce, business failure, and more. A structured settlement can also protect a plaintiff’s settlement, as it will guarantee payments are given only to the injured plaintiff, and the payments cannot be accelerated or assigned.

Getting Help

Many of our clients at Milestone have never gone through litigation. Sifting through information and the challenges of decisions like these can be overwhelming. Working alongside a settlement planner with experience, compassion and expertise will arm an injured plaintiff with knowledge and options to protect his or her money.

By putting the right protections on your settlement, a plaintiff can obtain financial stability and security, even in the face of divorce. He or she can then confidently focus energy on healing, improving quality of life, and working toward a brighter future.

 

 

 

About John Bair

John Bair has guided thousands of plaintiffs through the settlement process as co-founder of Milestone Consulting, LLC, a broad-based settlement planning and management firm. Milestone’s approach is comprehensive and future-focused. John’s team has guided thousands of clients by taking the time to understand the complexities of each case. They assess the best outcome and find the path that enables each client to manage their many needs. Read more about Milestone Consulting at http://milestoneseventh.com/.

There are a variety of ways in which the federal government provides financial assistance to people who are unable to work — whether they’re blind, of retirement age, or they have physical and/or cognitive challenges. If you or a family member has suffered long-term injuries, you’ll likely hear numerous terms and acronyms for these programs. Many of them sound alike, and it can get very confusing. For example, Social Security, SSI, and SSDI are three different avenues of government assistance, but they look and sound very similar. Below, we break down the benefits each provides, and the requirements one must meet to qualify.

SSI

What: Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a needs-based supplement program that provides certain individuals with cash to meet basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter.

Who: Beneficiaries of SSI include the elderly, blind, and those with disabilities. Adults are considered disabled if they have a long-term physical and/or mental condition that keeps them from working.

How: The amount of SSI a person receives depends on his or her income and living arrangements. Because settlements and jury awards are considered income, SSI beneficiaries must plan carefully if they are going to receive a recovery from a personal injury lawsuit. Download the full guide to SSI here.

SSDI

What: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) pays benefits to individuals who cannot work because of a medical condition. In some cases, this program also provides financial assistance to the family members of those individuals.

Who: To qualify as an SSDI beneficiary, a person must have worked in a job covered by Social Security. Then, he or she must have developed a “disability” as defined by the Social Security Administration (the full list is here). Only people who are unable to work for a year or more because of their condition will generally qualify for SSDI.

How: SSDI benefits usually continue until a person is able to work again on a regular basis. For those who are able to transition back to work, special rules called “work incentives” provide continued benefits and health care coverage.

Social Security

What: The name “Social Security” is a catch-all for numerous things, but it commonly refers to the government benefits a person may receive after reaching a certain age. For those who qualify, this federal government program provides a source of monthly income for them and their legal dependents.

Who: Individuals who have reached the age of 62. Ex-spouses, widows, and widowers may also receive benefits.

How: An individual’s monthly Social Security benefit amount is based on his or her highest 35 years of earnings. For those who do not have 35 years of earnings, their monthly benefits will be lower. A full retirement checklist is available here.

We hope this guide helps to clarify the differences between these federal government programs, and who may qualify for what. If you have any questions about your current qualifications and how a lawsuit settlement may affect these, feel free to reach out to us.

 

 

About John Bair

John Bair has guided thousands of plaintiffs through the settlement process as co-founder of Milestone Consulting, LLC, a broad-based settlement planning and management firm. Milestone’s approach is comprehensive and future-focused. John’s team has guided thousands of clients by taking the time to understand the complexities of each case. They assess the best outcome and find the path that enables each client to manage their many needs. Read more about Milestone Consulting at http://milestoneseventh.com/.

 

 

A hot topic on our blog recently has been our nation’s opioid epidemic, as it’s an issue that’s particularly close to our hearts at Milestone and relevant to millions of Americans. Our settlement planners have assisted many injured clients who take prescription opioid medication for their pain long after their lawsuits have been resolved. They are tragically put at risk of a dangerous addiction that for many people is impossible to stop without professional assistance.

These dangers associated with opioid use have been in nationwide news as of late. Many state and national campaigns are working to reduce the tragic statistics associated with these drugs. They have a long row to hoe; there were more than 20,000 overdose deaths related to prescription pain relievers in 2015 alone.

But there are other prescription medications that can lead to a dangerous addiction. Adderall and other “smart drugs,” for example, stimulate alertness and productivity by increasing dopamine levels in the brain. These drugs are particularly popular among high school and college students, according to AddictionCenter.com, a referral service that provides information about addiction treatment. High school and college students often don’t think twice about taking these, and as the number of kids diagnosed with ADHD continues to grow, the presence and ease of acquiring these performance enhancing drugs continues to increase. Their use becomes more acceptable. They’re thought of as harmless.  

Adderall addiction in college

But those who frequently take Adderall risk becoming dependent on the drug. Without it, they may experience withdrawal symptoms that could leave them mentally foggy, tired, or depressed until they take more. There are also long-term side effects of Adderall use, including hypertension (high blood pressure) and tachycardia (irregular heart rate), as explained by Brain and Body. More serious side effects of abusing Adderall long-term include heart disease and even sudden cardiac death. It is also possible that dependency on Adderall could lead to use of other dangerous substances. As discussed in this Elite Daily article, it can be considered the “ultimate gateway drug”.

Teenagers and college students already tend to think of themselves as invincible. While the country is engaged in a conversation about the opioid epidemic, we would be remiss if we did not draw attention to the prevalence of performance-enhancing drugs in the ever-strenuous and increasingly competitive academic space — and their potential to lead to bigger and worse things.

Earlier this month, former Olympic team doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison for molesting gymnasts and other athletes. It’s a victory for the courageous victims who stepped up and held Nassar accountable in court. The sentencing will also hopefully act as motivation for others in a similar situation who have not yet come forward. The more momentum the #MeToo movement gains, the more offenders will be punished for this horrible behavior.

Click the image above to watch a video of Nassar's sentencing posted by The Independent.

Click the image above to watch a video of Nassar’s sentencing posted by The Independent.

However, the “Harvey Weinstein tax” included in the latest tax bill raises some questions about the monetary payout Nassar’s victims could potentially receive, should they prevail in subsequent litigation. In short, this new tax rule denies deductions in confidential sexual harassment or abuse settlements. If the athletes win a civil case against Nassar, will the IRS be the biggest beneficiary instead of the strong and fearless abuse victims who deserve justice?

According to Section 162(q) of the tax code, “No deduction shall be allowed … for any settlement or payment related to sexual harassment or sexual abuse if such settlement or payment is subject to a nondisclosure agreement, or attorney’s fees related to such a settlement or payment.” In other words, if there is a non-disclosure agreement involved in the athletes’ or any other sexual abuse situation, those involved are no longer able to take  a tax deduction on their payment, settlement, or legal fees. For the offender, this makes sense – someone like Harvey Weinstein should not be allowed to take a tax deduction on the fees he’s paid as a result of litigation for his immoral behavior. For someone like one of Larry Nassar’s victims, it seems vastly unfair that they should have to pay taxes on their settlement, which is intended to compensate them as fully as possible.

The mention of “settlement” in the Weinstein tax section is of particular concern to the plaintiffs in sexual abuse cases. If a non-disclosure agreement is involved in the situation, any resulting settlements will not qualify for a tax deduction. Plaintiffs will not be able to deduct attorney fees if they receive a monetary recovery from a sexual abuse case. That means they will pay taxes on the FULL settlement amount before attorney fees are taken. That could leave them with substantially less money if they prevail against their attacker.

This new situation is reminiscent of the bruise ruling, in which the IRS required proof of  ‘‘observable bodily harm’’ to grant a tax deduction on the settlement recovery. In a 2008 memorandum, as Robert Wood points out, the IRS made an exception to this rule. Because settlement and jury award payments are typically made years after the abuse of a victim ended, the IRS allowed an assumption that there were physical injuries at one point, even if observable bodily harm could no longer be shown. In this ruling, the IRS gave a pass to people on whether their lawsuit recovery was taxable. Sadly, the new Weinstein tax may put that ruling in reverse.

At Milestone, we operate the only independent Global Assignment company built to solve tax problems inherent in taxable cases such as these ones, as well as whistleblower, false claims cases, and many others. The simple concept of spreading a multimillion-dollar recovery over 50 to 100 years alleviates the “peak year” concept that high-income executives, actors and professional athletes know all too well. Attorneys who litigate theses types of cases should take into consideration the IRS’s position in the case early, so their client fully understands what will happen to their piece of a potential recovery. If spreading the settlement payments out over time makes sense, and it puts more money in the pocket of the victim and less for the IRS, all the better.

We at Milestone commend the athletes for their bravery in standing up Dr. Nassar. Their voices not only hold him accountable, but they also amplify a movement that we hope will continue to gain traction across many industries.

 

At Milestone, our settlement planning experts often assist clients with establishing college savings plans. For example, parents who receive a wrongful death settlement involving the loss of their spouse sometimes take a portion of the recovery and put it aside for their child’s higher education. A 529 plan is one useful method for simple and effective savings growth.

A 529 plan is operated by a state or an educational institution. It provides tax advantages and sometimes incentives that make it easier for a beneficiary to save.

Based on findings from U.S. News & World Report, this graphic shows the staggering costs of some universities and colleges. Saving early is critical.

Based on findings from U.S. News & World Report, this graphic shows the high costs of some universities and colleges. Coming up with an appropriate plan and starting early are critical steps to saving enough money to cover costs.

 

There are two basic types of 592 plans: prepaid tuition plans and savings plans. While specifications differ from state to state, the monies invested (including the interest and/or growth) are available for qualified education expenses on a tax-free basis across the board.

Benefits of a 529 plan include:

  • A tax break
  • Control for the donor of the funds in the plan
  • Low maintenance and expenses
  • Flexibility of investments and contributions

Each year, Morningstar rates the available 529 plans across the nation based on five key pillars: Process, People, Parent, Price, and Performance. In 2017, Morningstar identified 34 best-in-class plans that follow industry best practices, which include some or all of the following features:

  • Strong set of underlying investments,
  • Solid manager selection process,
  • Well-researched asset-allocation approach,
  • Appropriate set of investment options to meet investor needs,
  • Low fees, and
  • Strong oversight from the state and program manager.

Gold-rated plans have all or a vast majority of these features. The 2017 gold-rated plans are represented in the graphic below.

A 529 plan is a great consideration for families who are preparing for the expenses of a child’s higher education. Feel free to contact Milestone Consulting to discuss how you can make sure your settlement accomplishes this important life goal.

 

 

About John Bair

John Bair has guided thousands of plaintiffs through the settlement process as co-founder of Milestone Consulting, LLC, a broad-based settlement planning and management firm. Milestone’s approach is comprehensive and future-focused. John’s team has guided thousands of clients by taking the time to understand the complexities of each case. They assess the best outcome and find the path that enables each client to manage their many needs. Read more about Milestone Consulting at http://milestoneseventh.com.

 

military college planning

A college education is a common denominator for many young people. In fact, more than 20 million students attended colleges and universities in the United States in the fall of 2017, constituting an increase of about 5.1 million since 2000. There is a stronger reliance on higher education than ever, so for many people exiting high school or the military, a college degree is an important next step.

But without adequate planning, higher education is often a major financial stretch for families. To ease the burden on our service people, our country offers a variety of helpful education benefits for military veterans.

Financial Aid for Veterans

If you’ve served in the American Armed Forces, you rightfully have access to exclusive forms of financial aid. One relatively recent development is the Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act, which President Obama signed into law in 2014. Under the Act, public colleges or universities cannot charge veterans living in the state higher tuition and fees than it charges in-state residents, even if the veteran has not yet officially established residence in that state. The provision is applicable to:

  • Veterans discharged or released from active service less than three years before their date of enrollment in the applicable course (active service must be longer than 90 days)
  • Veterans’ family members who are eligible for financial assistance for their education

To be protected by the Act, a veteran only needs to demonstrate an intent to establish residency in a state (beyond merely being present in that state). This legislation can mean a substantial savings opportunity for former military personnel.

Veterans can also take advantage of funding through the GI Bill, which offers a host of education benefits. On its website, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs provides prospective veteran students with resources including:

  • An online application for VA education benefits
  • CareerScope, a tool to determine the best career path for transition to civilian life
  • Information about payment rates
  • A school locator, and much more

There are also federal student aid options that serve civilians and military personnel alike. Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the gateway for all governmental education funding. Most aid is administered on a first-come, first-serve basis, so the sooner you get your FAFSA submitted, the better your odds are of receiving aid. There are a variety of loans and grants available depending on each individual student.

Trust Options

There are also several trust options to help plan far in advance for college. For those who received a personal injury settlement, for example, I often recommend savings options like a 529 plan, which offers exempt distributions for qualifying higher education expenses.

Each student is different and will thus have different options available. By taking advantage of all possible aid, students and their families can minimize or eliminate any out-of-pocket expenses for an all-important college education.

 

 

About John Bair

John Bair has guided thousands of plaintiffs through the settlement process as co-founder of Milestone Consulting, LLC, a broad-based settlement planning and management firm. Milestone’s approach is comprehensive and future-focused. John’s team has guided thousands of clients by taking the time to understand the complexities of each case. They assess the best outcome and find the path that enables each client to manage their many needs. Read more about Milestone Consulting at http://milestoneseventh.com.

 

 

Litigation continues to grow increasingly complex, especially catastrophic litigation and cases involving multiple plaintiffs. That’s why the legal profession is committed to removing obstacles to settlement and the challenges to collecting a settlement.

what is a qualified settlement fund

One straightforward settlement planning tool is the qualified settlement fund (QSF). Simply put, a QSF is a trust that holds settlement funds after the defendant in a lawsuit settles the case and before the plaintiff receives his or her money.

There are three big benefits of establishing a QSF:

  • It will extend the amount of time available to plan for the incoming settlement money, allowing attorneys to provide thorough client counseling and address the decisions involved in the disbursement of funds.
  • A QSF will allow the defendants to make a payment into the fund in exchange for a general release from the litigation.
  • Lawyers can receive their fees months sooner.

Setting up a QSF requires an administrator, an escrow agreement, and a court order. The law firm of record establishes an escrow or trust agreement with a professional fund administrator, which sets the stage for the litigating parties to understand their respective roles.

Typically, defendants will need to confirm their payment is qualified and therefore deductible, and that they are fully released of all of the claims brought against them and any claim that may arise out of the creation of the QSF. Then, when the QSF is established, the defendants pay the agreed-upon amount into the fund and their involvement ends there.

QSFs are a solution that benefits plaintiffs attorneys, defense counsel, and claimants , and they work for many case types. We at Milestone Consulting compiled a wealth of information into an ebook, titled Qualified Settlement Funds: What Trial Lawyers Need to Know, which is free for download on our website. If you’re an attorney and are interested in exploring a QSF as a settlement planning option, feel free to contact our firm for more information.

 

 

About John Bair

John Bair has guided thousands of plaintiffs and attorneys through the settlement process as co-founder of Milestone Consulting, LLC, a broad-based settlement planning and management firm. Milestone’s approach is comprehensive and future-focused. John’s team has guided thousands of clients by taking the time to understand the complexities of each case. They assess the best outcome and find the path that enables each client to manage their many needs. Read more about Milestone Consulting at http://milestoneseventh.com/.

 

If you’re a Medicare beneficiary and your lawsuit is about to settle, you may need to take action to continue to receive benefits. Many people in this situation establish a Medicare set-aside.

When you’re just getting started with settlement planning, the next steps might seem complex. We’ve curated some of the information and posts on topics that may be helpful. Consider starting your research with any of the articles below. As always, feel free to contact my comprehensive settlement planning firm, Milestone Consulting, with any questions.

The Basics

A Medicare set-aside is an amount of money that’s literally put aside to protect your future Medicare eligibility. It’s a good-faith, voluntary arrangement that shows you are prepared to fund future care without relying solely on Medicare.

For more information about what a Medicare set-aside does, click here to check out our post, “Do I Need to Establish a Medicare Set-Aside if I Receive a Settlement?”

Self-Administration

Medicare beneficiaries can either elect to self-administer their Medicare set-aside, or they can retain a professional administration firm to handle this complex legal process. Our article, “Medicare Set-asides and Self Administration” explains the funding and administration options for these accounts. Read more here.

What Happens to the Money Later?

Beneficiaries and/or their family members often ask about the portion of the money in the Medicare set-aside that may be left over when he or she passes away. Click here to find out what might happen to the balance.

Check out our free ebook for more topics related to Medicare set-asides.

When a settlement is on the horizon, deciding on the best plan can be overwhelming without a professional on board. For expert guidance, we invite you to contact Milestone Consulting to schedule a consultation. It will be the peace of mind you need to know your settlement will be as valuable as possible now and in the future.

 

climate change

Twenty-one young people take on the US Government and climate change in Juliana v. United States

The Impact Fund Delivers Hope in the Form of Impact Litigation

unnamedBy Amy Daniewicz

2017 was a painful year.

We experienced existential threats to our planet from climate change made real by fire and flood. We faced political threats to our country from foreign interference and domestic terrorism, and physical threats to our communities from hate groups and gun violence.

We also endured more intimate attacks upon on our very identities. We feared that skin color or facial hair would get us harassed at the airport or on our way to work. We worried when our teenage son donned a hoodie or when our teenage daughter left for college. We even felt afraid when simply expressing our gender identity.

For too many of us, fear became harsh reality. At times it was almost too much to bear.

It is easy to feel discouraged, but 2018 offers a new perspective. If we look carefully into the fear and suffering, what we find will lift our spirits and strengthen us for the fight that remains. For buried deep within the muck and the rot of last year lie thousands upon thousands of tiny seeds of change.

In the early days of 2017, my coworker hung a sign with the words of the poet Dinos Christianopoulos on her door: “They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds.”

Faced with so much injustice, in 2017 many of us woke up and spoke out—attending protests, organizing acts of resistance and compassion, some even running for office. Many of us woke in as well—searching inside ourselves for ways to be of service and make a difference, volunteering and giving our strengths and resources in record numbers.

For some, the act of resistance came via the courts.

At the Impact Fund, we are proud to have supported many Americans—and a few outside the U.S. as well—who have found the courage to speak truth to power on behalf of their families, their communities, and their planet, via impact litigation. These groups range in mission and geographic focus but have one thing in common: they recognize the wisdom of using impact litigation as an effective tool in their strategy for change.

Water Protectors protest the Dakota Access Pipeline at Standing Rock

Water Protectors protest the Dakota Access Pipeline at Standing Rock

Along with the Bairs Foundation, we believe in the importance of creating an even playing field to ensure access to justice. Today—with so many of us under siege, and with weakened remedies to hold the powerful accountable—this is more important than ever.

Here are just a few examples of cases challenging injustice taken on by our grantees:

  • Unlawful treatment of protesters at Standing Rock, at a Black Lives Matter protest in Berkeley, and at a protest after the shooting of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge
  • Heartless treatment of immigrant mothers and children detained in ICE’s Berks County Residential Center in Pennsylvania
  • The failure of the US Government to act on climate change
  • NYPD profiling of Muslims in New York
  • Mistreatment of immigrants at the hands of the prison industrial complex in Colorado and Sheriff Arpaio in Arizona
  • Arsenic-laced drinking water in rural California
  • Unfair and destructive bail systems hurting families in Texas
  • Voter suppression of Native Americans in North Dakota
  • Preventing the opening of a mine in the Superior National Forest in Minnesota
  • Gender discrimination against female police officers in Colorado Springs
  • Fighting Big Ag in Hawaii and GMO corn in Mexico

For 25 years, the Impact Fund has provided funding for lawsuits like these that aim to make a broad impact in economic, environmental, racial, and social justice. Our volunteer committee of national legal experts vets the legal strategy, team, and context for every case we consider—evaluating everything from the theory behind the claims to the chance of success in the courtroom. We also train and support these brave advocates and attorneys in best practices we’ve learned from our own advocacy and from those we support.

The people of the Grassy Narrows First Nation fight back against mercury poisoning.

The people of the Grassy Narrows First Nation fight back against mercury poisoning

When these cases are won, we help to spread the word of their success so that others will be inspired to follow their lead. In cases where the attorneys are justly compensated for their years of hard work with fee awards, they pay it forward by repaying our grants. Every repayment means another worthy group can be supported, and the cycle continues.

In the past year, we’ve heard from others who are interested in leveraging the power of public interest impact litigation for social justice. They understand the same core truth that drives us in our work: impact litigation is a mighty tool for effecting social change. We couldn’t be happier to have them join us.

Californians fight to protect their community from oil spills and health hazards

Californians fight to protect their community from oil spills and health hazards

If we look closely—into grassroots organizations, local communities, and nonprofit organizations fighting for what is just—we can see the seeds of hope that are our future. These seeds of hope may be hard to see now, as they may be small, buried out of sight, and blocked from our vision by our fear.

What we may not realize is that the struggles of the past (particularly this past year) serve as fertile ground for these tiny seeds of hope, and they are growing—bit by bit and day by day. A new cycle grounded in equity, understanding, and compassion is bursting forth. Let us do all we can to tend these seeds so that they grow into strong and mighty limbs of justice.

Download the Impact Fund’s annual report to learn more, and get involved in the fight for social, racial, economic, and environmental justice.

As the #MeToo movement gained momentum over the past few months, we have seen accusations of sexual harassment by more and more celebrities. This week, Dr. Lawrence G. Nassar, the former doctor for the American gymnastics team, was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison for multiple sex crimes against Olympic athletes and many other women.

sexual harassment and Weinstein taxIn court cases involving sexual harassment, companies and people legally used to be able to take tax deductions on settlements and attorney fees spent on settling a suit because it counted as a “business expense.” But the “Harvey Weinstein tax” included in the new tax bill denies deductions in confidential sexual harassment or abuse settlements. The rule applies to both lawyer fees and settlement payments. According to Section 162(q) of the tax code:

(q) PAYMENTS RELATED TO SEXUAL HARASSMENT AND SEXUAL ABUSE. — No deduction shall be allowed under this chapter for — (1) any settlement or payment related to sexual harassment or sexual abuse if such settlement or payment is subject to a nondisclosure agreement, or (2) attorney’s fees related to such a settlement or payment.”

In other words, if there is a non-disclosure agreement involved in the situation, the business or person involved is no longer able to receive a tax deduction on their payment, settlement, or legal fees. For sexual harassment suits that will continue to involve a non-disclosure agreement, the business is now required to pay the settlement or award as well as the legal fees and then the taxes on top of the payments.

There are several implications for this change:

  1. Companies and people may start to forego non-disclosure agreements so they can still get the tax deduction. However, foregoing an NDA means, the details of the harassment and the lawsuit could be made public, and that carries with it the potential to destroy careers, companies, and lives.
  2. Companies and people may start to offer lower settlements with a non-disclosure agreement, in order to minimize the amount of  taxes they’d have to pay on the  settlement.

There is an unfortunate negative potential consequence to this new “Harvey Weinstein tax.” Since the tax code also notes that settlements do not qualify for a deduction when there is a non-disclosure agreement involved, a plaintiff will not be able to deduct their attorney fees if they receive a settlement from a sexual harassment case.

For example, if a plaintiff wins $100,000 in a sexual harassment suit but owes his or her attorney 40 percent in attorney fees, the plaintiff keeps $60,000. However, without a deduction, the plaintiff will still have to pay taxes on the full $100,000 settlement. That could be another $20,000 out of the plaintiff’s pocket, which could leave him or her with a meager $40,000 when all is said and done.

This issue was most likely was not an intention behind the new tax code. But unfortunately, the language was not written to apply exclusively to the defendant — if it simply said “payments” it would not apply to the plaintiff.

Only time will tell the extent to which this change to the tax code will affect those who have come forward to hold someone accountable for hurting them.

 

 

 

About John Bair

John Bair has guided thousands of plaintiffs through the settlement process as co-founder of Milestone Consulting, LLC, a broad-based settlement planning and management firm. Milestone’s approach is comprehensive and future-focused. John’s team has guided thousands of clients by taking the time to understand the complexities of each case. They assess the best outcome and find the path that enables each client to manage their many needs. Read more about Milestone Consulting at http://milestoneseventh.com/.