19 Oct Woman Wins $18M in Wrongful Death Annuity Settlement
A woman from West Virginia will receive an $18 million annuity settlement from multiple energy companies stemming from a wrongful death lawsuit from over two years ago, according to the NBC West Virginia affiliate WTOV9.com. A West Virginia court approved the deal earlier this week. Karen Phipps’ husband, Bruce, was one of three workers involved in a fire at a Eureka-Hunter, LLC Pipeline in Tyler County in April of 2013. The other two men survived; unfortunately Bruce was not so lucky.
“This fine man who died as a result of the significant burns received over most of his body suffered in a way that no person should be forced to suffer,” said Scott Blass, a lawyer who served as lead counsel in the case. “As a result, this family will forever be without a husband, a dad and a grandfather.”
Whether it be from an insurance claim, lawsuit, or lottery payments annuity settlements are used as a means to provide funds in many different situations. This process allows people or companies an alternative so that they can acquire a large lump sum versus annuity, which draws out the payments over a specified time period. For example, life insurance annuities generally payout for 10 or 20 years, but can be setup to be paid for as long as your spouse survives.
The Circuit Court of Ohio County approved the annuity settlement worth $18 million and will benefit his survivors. Usually, a structured settlement annuity can save you between 25 and 35% in state and federal taxes on interest income. The other reason courts prefer awarding monetary damages in annuity settlements over lump sums is because it protects people from themselves. Never forget, 70% of lottery winners lose or spend all their money within five years.
“The most tragic part of this very sad scenario is that this could have been avoided if these companies simply would have conducted their operations in a safe and reasonable manner,” Blass said. “Although this settlement will not bring Bruce back, we are hopeful that it will cause companies to think twice before putting workers in harm’s way when conducting their operations throughout the tri-state region.”