I recently posted a blog about New York’s top Court’s recent ruling that New York personal injury plaintiffs can win “summary judgment” against defendants without proving that the plaintiff was blameless for his own injury. The rule previously, in most courts, was that the plaintiff could not get summary judgment without first proving that he or she was blameless. You can read that earlier blog here.
Since the blog was posted, Law360, and online legal newspaper of national renown, interviewed me about the case. The article’s headline is: “NY High Court’s Injury Ruling Could Spark Fast Settlements”. The article quotes me as follows:
Michael Bersani, a personal injury plaintiffs lawyer for Michaels & Smolak PC in Syracuse, New York, said it has been in insurance companies’ best interests to stall litigation given their considerable resources. But if liability is already established, then a 9 percent interest rate on a potential $1 million verdict would glean $90,000 annually, he said. “It makes the plaintiff comfortable and makes the insurance companies very uncomfortable,” Bersani said. “If the insurance adjuster knows I’m going to get a verdict, they have much more incentive to get it resolved early and get it settled.” Bersani said the ruling will also help injured clients obtain third-party litigation funding in order to pay for daily living expenses. “Some plaintiffs are poor, and to wait out their case they have to borrow money from third-party lenders,” said Bersani, who noted that many can’t work due to their injuries and often run out of disability insurance funds. “Once you get a finding of liability, it’s easier to get a third-party lender at a better rate,” he said. “If I have an iffy case and can’t get a lender, if I get summary judgment, then it makes it a lot easier because the lender knows there will be money coming in and will get paid.”