No Damages For Factoring Company that Failed to Plead, Says Mississippi Appellate Court

No Damages For Factoring Company that Failed to Plead, Says Mississippi Appellate Court

A secondary market dispute with a “highly complex” history has resulted in another decision favoring the payee over a factoring company that sought to obtain the payee’s structured settlement payment rights.

The case is captioned In re A Transfer of Structured Settlement Payment Rights by Saucier, No. 2015-CA-00847-COA, 2016 Miss. App. LEXIS 801 (Miss. Ct. App. Dec. 13, 2016), and resulted in a 5-4 en banc opinion affirming the opinion of the Mississippi chancery court that dismissed any claims for damages against payee Benny Ray Saucier by factoring company RSL Funding, LLC.

Previously, in RSL Funding LLC v. Saucier (In re Transfer of Structured Settlement Payment Rights), 130 So. 3d 1108 (Miss. Ct. App. 2013) (Saucier I), as the appeals court explained, the case was remanded to the chancery court on the issue of damages, and, after remand, the chancery court found that RSL failed to timely plead a claim for damages against Saucier, “leaving no unresolved issues to be decided.”  RSL appealed, arguing that the chancery court erred when it determined that RSL never alleged a claim for damages or filed a pleading as defined by the procedural rules.  The appellate court panel affirmed, saying RSL failed to plead a claim for its damages, that the chancery court properly entered final judgment in favor of Saucier, and further that the chancery court did not abuse its discretion in denying RSL’s motion for leave to amend as the statute of limitations barred such a motion.

The dispute also previously led to federal litigation summed up in Secondary Insurance Market Blog posts here and here, that explain parts of the “highly complex procedural history” in both state and federal courts.  Those posts described the Mississippi court’s earlier rulings a proposed transfer of payment rights from Saucier RSL – that first had been approved via court order – was void due to a lack of notice to the payee, and that any because there was no valid transfer, there was no valid transfer agreement.

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