Plaintiff Funding

Written by Patricia Tunstall
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Critical Plaintiff Funding

Plaintiff funding by groups that are not a party to a lawsuit has transformed impoverished plaintiffs into formidable opponents to wealthy defendants who otherwise win by default. Although some business groups complain about the status quo being upset by interlopers, litigation financing by third parties is a burgeoning enterprise. Obviously, assisting insolvent plaintiffs with interim funding that enables the lawsuit to proceed instead of being dropped runs counter to the self-interest of these business groups.

What frequently happens in such cases is that--assuming the plaintiff can afford to file a lawsuit at all--the plaintiff who is slowly being financially drained by legal expenses must agree to an early settlement. Of course, such a forced settlement is much less than the plaintiff is suing for, and all too often, totally inadequate to cover expenses and losses that result from the harm done by defendants. Justice is not done when an injured plaintiff must drop a lawsuit only because of lack of money.

Preventing Premature Settlements

Plaintiff funding by outside companies throws a legal monkey-wrench into this scenario. A well-financed plaintiff is now able to hire expert witnesses, carry on investigations, and take depositions from necessary witnesses and professionals. Solely because of an infusion of critical plaintiff funding, the case proceeds to a fair settlement or to a judgment by the court.

With such a settlement, the successful plaintiff can hopefully be able to maintain a gratifying life despite the injuries that were the basis for the lawsuit. If the case involved employment discrimination, the plaintiff might garner enough from a settlement to change jobs, change careers, or re-locate. In a wrongful death claim, the family who lost a salary as well as a loved one might now be able to get an education or training to enable them to become self-sufficient.

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