Pre-Settlement Legal Funding News: New Hampshire Jury Awards $38MM to David Meehan Sex Abuse Victim in Youth Detention Center (YDC) Bellwether Case

PR Newswire · 05/13 10:15

Legal-Bay Lawsuit Funding firm says the landmark case is the largest jury award for a personal injury case in N.H., and sends a clear message for the framework of resolution not only for YDC cases in New Hampshire but nationwide.

CONCORD, N.H., May 13, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Legal-Bay, The Pre Settlement Funding Company, announced today that a New Hampshire jury awarded lead plaintiff David Meehan $38MM for the sexual abuse violations he suffered at a youth detention center in the 1990s. The award granted $18MM for personal injury damages and $20MM in punitive damages.

However, New Hampshire state officials believe that under state law the award should only be $475K, since attorneys Rus Rilee and Nixon Peabody only proved one actual incident of abuse according to the jury verdict sheet. $475K is the cap on one-time incidents. The case will now head to Concord where the appeals process will begin. This is known as verdict on appeal or judgment on appeal. "How this plays out from here is anyone's guess," says Legal-Bay CEO Chris Janish. "Especially considering that the $20MM in punitive damages may not be subject to the $475K cap." 

The state made it known about the cap, and since then, three jurors have reached out to Rus Riley explaining that they felt horrible about it, and felt misled by the jury instructions in the case. 

Legal-Bay has been a leader in sex abuse settlement funding for over 10 years, beginning with Catholic clergy sex abuse cases. The company claims to be the first company to begin funding YDC cases several years ago, and has followed the Meehan case closely. 

Chris Janish further commented, "The case has so many far reaching elements to it that it's hard to sum up in words. But one thing is certain: the jury has spoken loud and clear. For victims, it is still sad to see that despite overwhelming evidence and gripping testimony by a brave plaintiff, powerful organizations will continue to deny that anything ever happened, or worse, attempt to discredit victims on the witness stand as not being credible. This case stands as a bellwether for how the framework of not only YDC litigations but so many other sexual abuse litigations around the country from New York to California may play out. Government and private defendants and plaintiffs, along with sex abuse lawyers and their law firms should all take notice." 

If you're a lawyer or plaintiff involved in an active sexual abuse lawsuit of any kind and need an immediate cash advance against an impending lawsuit settlement, please visit Legal-Bay HERE or call toll-free at 877.571.0405.

Legal-Bay reports that the New Hampshire YDC litigation has over 1100 cases filed to date. When Legal-Bay began funding early on—when no other company would—there were just eight plaintiffs. The company says the other victims have David Meehan and Rus Rilee to thank for their courage to take on the state in what has become one of the most egregious criminal and civil violations of children's rights in U.S. History. 

It doesn't end there though, as YDC is not an isolated problem. Litigations all over the country are emerging, and the psychological damage caused by so many is beyond what normal society can even comprehend. Legal-Bay is at the forefront of each and every one of these litigations, doing their best to support the victims to get their lives back in order and help them receive justice. It isn't only about the money for Legal-Bay; it is about the compassion to know that someone is in their corner, and will believe survivors when the speak out about what happened to them. 

Amber Cardillo, Legal-Bay's head of sex abuse funding, commented, "The patterns are almost all the same with these cases; however, the damage can be different for some than others. Why we strive to be the best settlement funding company in Lit Fin is because we try to go above and beyond to help these individuals manage their lives.  As difficult as it is to hear the egregious sex abuse stories, what is rewarding for Legal-Bay is when we get calls of gratitude that our company has helped turn their life around, whether by funding needed treatments or putting a roof over their head." 

Many plaintiffs ask Legal-Bay, "What is my case worth?" or "How much is the average settlement amount of a sex abuse case?" and the answers can be wide-ranging. Obviously, a $38MM verdict is out of the norm, as most settlement amounts for sex abuse survivors will be much less due to sheer number of people now filing claims. Regardless of the amount awarded at final ruling, who knows what will actually be collected when all is said and done. Appeals are almost immediately filed in such cases, holding up payouts indefinitely. Commercial litigation funding is available while plaintiffs wait out a verdict on appeal, and large pre-settlement funding can be obtained while the verdicts go through the appellate process. 

In larger cases involving organizations like the Catholic church or Boy Scouts of America, settlements could be in the $100K range for even the worst abuses. In cases with smaller class actions or mass torts (less than 50 people), settlement ranges for the highest level of sex abuse settlements can be between $500K and $2MM. 

If you're a lawyer or plaintiff involved in an active sexual abuse lawsuit of any kind and need an immediate cash advance against an impending lawsuit settlement, please visit Legal-Bay HERE or call toll-free at 877.571.0405.

Janish, who has been involved in mass tort litigation funding for close to 20 years, noted, "What most plaintiffs and even law firms need to understand is that when the litigation gets larger and larger and the damages are severe, there is only so much money to go around. Cooler heads usually need to come together and be realistic in resolving these large litigations where so much money is at stake."

After the Meehan verdict, Legal-Bay believes the YDC settlement fund will be expedited, as plaintiffs that have opted-in deserve to be paid, or they too may seek to take their case to trial.

While YDC cases in N.H. are moving towards final resolution, but that is not the case in many other litigations nationwide. There are over 50K plaintiffs awaiting justice in many youth detention cases nationwide, as well as other specific litigations that will take time to resolve. Some of them include:

  • Mac Hall and Foster sex abuse cases in Los Angeles, CA
  • Southern California clergy case
  • New York and New Jersey Catholic Diocese church cases
  • New York foster care and women's prison rape cases

The company is also seeing the same delays in other litigations, such as the J&J talc lawsuits where serious incidents of ovarian cancer or wrongful death may only produce settlement values of $150K due to the 60K claims against Johnson & Johnson. 

Legal Bay's loan for settlement funding programs are designed to provide immediate cash in advance of a plaintiff's anticipated monetary award. While it's common to refer to these legal funding requests as settlement loans, loans for settlements, law suit loans, loans for lawsuits, etc., the "lawsuit loan" funds are, in fact, non-recourse. That means there's no risk when it comes to loans in lawsuit settlements because there is no obligation to repay the money if the recipient loses their case. Therefore, terms like settlement loan, loans for lawsuit, loans on settlement, or lawsuit loan funds don't necessarily apply, as the "loan on lawsuit" isn't really a loan at all, but rather a stress-free cash advance.

Legal-Bay is known to many as the best legal funding company's in the industry for their helpful and knowledgeable staff, and one of the best lawsuit loan companies overall for their low rates and quick turnaround, sometimes within 24-48 hours once all documents have been received.

To apply right now for a loan settlement program, please visit the company's website HERE or call toll-free at: 877.571.0405 where agents are standing by to answer any questions.

Contact: Chris Janish, CEO


              Ph.: 877.571.0405


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