Louisiana legislation signed into law on July 15th provides clearer guidance for judges dealing with settlements for minors.
House Bill 133 amended the state’s Civil Code of Procedures to state that "in approving any proposal by which money will be paid to the minor as the result of a judgment or settlement, the court may order that the money be paid under a structured settlement agreement which provides for periodic payments and is underwritten by a financially responsible entity that assumes responsibility for future payments."
State Representative Joseph Lopinto gives credit for the idea to Mike McCullough of the James Street Group.
"I used to see the parents go take the money and go to the bank and cash it," said McCullough, who is based in Lafayette, La. "I am trying to protect the minors that come into money from a lawsuit. The only recourse they have [otherwise] is when they turn 18 and can sue their parents."
Prior to passage of this bill, judges were only instructed to impose orders that were for the benefit of the minor such that funds were used, administered and conserved in the best interests of the minor. The passage of this bill is meant to promote the use of structured funds but stops short of making it mandatory.