Attorney General and Attorneys Fight Over Lead Paint Settlement

The Maryland Attorney General and attorneys for lead paint victims are fighting over who can get a better deal for the victims. Both sides say victims were taken advantage of when many of them sold their structured settlements for much lower lump sum payments to finance company, Access Funding.

Last May, CBS News reported one victim sold her structured settlement, which was valued at $408,000 at the time, for just $66,000. However, structured settlement company leaders argue the lower number may reflect the difference between total remaining payments and the present value of the future payments, which can be incredibly hard to quantify.

The Maryland Attorney General said he wants the court to award full restitution to the victims. But, attorneys representing the lead paint victims said it found during discovery that Access Funding didn’t have enough to fully reimburse the victims, since those future payments had been sold to third party investors. The victims' attorneys negotiated a $1.1 million settlement, which ends up being $7,500 per person.

The attorneys say the efforts by the attorney general's office to attempt full restitution is impossible given the payments were sold to third parties and would eventually leave their clients with nothing.