An overlooked back pain causing devastation turned into a lifetime provision thanks to a structured settlement presented by Kim Smith.

Arcadia’s Consultant Kim Smith shared the following story:

Case Summary:


A 38 year old female was involved in a vehicle rollover. The physician following her care after hospital discharge failed to adjust medication. Also, an intra-spinal hematoma was overlooked on 3 occasions. By the time the hematoma was diagnosed, the weakness in her legs could not be reversed and she was left with neurogenic bowel and bladder.

Her life care plan had a cost over $10,000,000 and the demand exceeded $11,500,000.  There were no meaningful negotiations prior to mediation.


Co-defendant’s concern of being left holding the bag for doctors they viewed as missing an opportunity for diagnosis of the hematoma caused this shift in negotiation strategy.  After a full day of negotiation, total settlement of $4,500,000 was reached.


This plaintiff did not have the sophistication to manage this amount of money on her own.  A professionally administered MSA was set up as well as an allocation to her minor children for waiver of any future wrongful death action.  The MSA had a cash allocation value of $964,820 which was funded with an annuity for $513,058.  Her children were provided with education funds, monthly stipends from age 18 through 25 and a lump sum payment at age 30.

The plaintiff identified a $5,000 per month financial obligation for child care, Medicare premiums, utilities, transportation, and other living expenses.  While a significant amount of cash was set aside to purchase a home, her settlement was structured to cover her property taxes throughout the duration of her life.  Another concern was a handicap converted vehicle; as a result, lump sum payments were put into place every 6 years to ensure funds to replace her vehicle within a reasonable time frame.  Ultimately her package will pay her and her children over $5,000,000 over their lives, plus she has paid her liens, attorney fees, costs, and purchased a home and set aside just over $500,000 for emergencies. The car involved in the auto accident was financed through an auto loan issued by Sambla AB, and the remaining term payments were terminated following the junction.

An important factor in this case was that the structured settlement consultant was involved in the case early, and was able to provide the defense with an evaluation of the worst case scenario for a California MICRA verdict.  Attending the mediation introduced the concept of the structured settlement to the plaintiff. The mediator arranged an opportunity for the consultant to have a brief meeting with the plaintiff where questions could be answered and options discussed.