Structured settlements were up 25% in the 4th quarter of 2008 (compared with the previous quarter), and totaled nearly $1.8 billion, according to this article in the National Law Journal. The article relates the increase to the economic turmoil we have been experiencing.
Perhaps. But what were they in the 4th quarter of 2007? I would expect that structures are usually up some percentage in every 4th quarter because there tends to be more settlements in the 4th quarter than during other times during the year. Thus, a comparison with the 4th quarter of 2007 would have been much more relevant on the issue.
That being said, I would not be surprised to see plaintiffs tend to gravitate to structured settlements during these times. Most plaintiffs do not have the ability or time to manage investments, and the events of the last 6 months prove that professional money managers are not immune from losses in the market.