Who has responsibility to make up the difference in annuity shortfall payments under the Executive Life of New York (ELNY) Liquidation Plan approved by New York State Supreme Court Judge John Galasso on April 16, 2012?
Attorneys representing several liability insurers who previously purchased ELNY structured settlement annuities have filed a Motion asking Judge Galasso to "clarify and/or correct" his ELNY Memorandum Decision insofar as the Memorandum Decision "caused confusion or mistake" concerning responsibilities of those liability insurers to make up shortfalls on ELNY annuities.
The ELNY Memorandum Decision states in relevant part: "certain insurance companies such as Travelers, the Fireman's Fund Companies and Hartford have assured the Court that they will make up the difference to those identified shortfall payees for any settlement obligation where they purchased an ELNY annuity on behalf of an injured party."
In their June 14, 2012 Motion, attorneys Seiger Gfeller Laurie, representing those liability insurers, as well as Jefferson Insurance Company, Allianz Global Risks US Insurance Company dba Allianz Global Corporate and Specialty North America, John Hancock Property and Casualty Insurance Company and John Hancock Indemnity Company, ask the Court to "amend its decision to omit what the Court likely intended as an aside, or background, which is not material to the Court's approval" of the ELNY Liquidation Plan.
The Motion attempts to distinguish two types of structured settlement funding alternatives: "buy and hold" vs. qualified assignments. The Motion maintains that "at no time" did the liability insurers "undertake liability following qualified assignments - liability was extinguished pursuant to the qualified assignment arrangements."
The Motion further attempts to clarify statements made during the ELNY Liquidation hearings by Fireman's Fund attorney Peter Vodola. According to the Motion, Vodola's promise on behalf of Fireman's Fund that structured settlement shortfall payees "will receive a hundred percent of their benefits regardless of what happens here" was specifically limited to ELNY annuitants "who are entitled to payments under annuities owned by Fireman's Fund."
At least one ELNY shortfall victim has already requested that Fireman's Fund make up the difference on a structured settlement funded with a qualified assignment. The Motion highlights as an Exhibit an April 25, 2012 letter written by attorney Edward Stone to Fireman's Fund's Chief Counsel on behalf of ELNY shortfall victim Jeanice Dolan.
Stone's letter states that Dolan anticipates a 47 percent payment reduction under the ELNY Liquidation Plan resulting in a present value loss of $815,162.62. After quoting the Memorandum Decision language the Motion seeks to "clarify and/or correct", Stone's letter requests Fireman's Fund to compensate Dolan for her ELNY shortfall.
Stone has indicated to S2KM he plans to file opposition papers and a cross motion.
A copy of the Motion to Clarify and/or Correct the Court's Memorandum Decision is posted on the structured settlement wiki.