The California Court of Appeals opinion in Ceron v. 321 Henderson Receivables, No. B224935, 2001 WL 240243 (Calif. Ct. App. Jan. 26, 2011), addresses alleged violations of the California Structured Settlement Protection Act by factoring company J.G. Wentworth and its affiliates, including 321 Henderson Receivables. Peter J. Vodola, a partner in the West Hartford, CT law firm of Seiger Gfeller Laurie LLP, recently analyzed the opinion. Here’s his overview.
In Ceron, the California appeals court upheld the dismissal of a would-be class action lawsuit that alleged, in part, that Wentworth violated the California SSPA’s requirements concerning advice to the structured settlement payee, while also reversing the dismissal of one count where the plaintiff, Raul Ceron, sought injunctive relief against what he alleged to be ongoing and continuing SSPA violations that also constitute unfair business practices.
The plaintiff claimed Wentworth improperly deducted fees for payee attorney advice from the transfer purchase price that Wentworth promised to pay to Ceron.
While the appellate court said that Ceron did not make allegations in his complaint that were sufficient to invalidate the court orders that approved past structured settlement factoring transactions, the appellate court did say that Ceron stated a claim concerning ongoing violations.
“While the claims which were previously the subject of prior court approvals may not be set aside, no such hindrance lies against claims of continuing violations of the act,” the court said.
To contact Peter Vodola directly, go to 860-760-8400, firstname.lastname@example.org. Pete Vodola is an appellate and general practice lawyer who has represented clients in disputes in courts throughout the country. He has represented businesses in a range of industries, and in a variety of matters involving contract disputes, insurance, trademark, telecommunications, and Constitutional law. Pete has often represented insurers in matters involving structured settlements, and has won dispositive rulings for his clients under several state structured settlement protection statutes, including the California SSPA in the case of Rapid Settlements, Ltd. v. Symetra Life Ins. Co., 2007 WL 1576437 (Cal. Ct. App. June 1, 2007).