On the same day that largest Virginia-based newspaper reported on a putative class action alleging a scheme to defraud structured settlement
Virginia Lawyers Weekly on February 2nd reported on the putative class-action complaint filed last year alleging that a Virginia legislator and some Virginia judges were complicit in a scheme with factoring companies aimed at deprive structured settlement payees of their rights.
The article, Delegate sued over structured settlement sales, is available here (subscription required).
The article reports that the complaint says lawyer Steven Heretick, who was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 2016, worked with “complicit judges” in Portsmouth, Virginia, courts “in a scheme to evade and defeat legal protections” for structured settlement payees considering whether to sell their rights to future payments.
The article also reports that “Heretick has asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit for lack of jurisdiction and failure to state actionable claims.”
Structured settlement payee Larry Dockery is the would-be class representative who filed the 2017 lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against Heretick, factoring company J.G. Wentworth, and other defendants. Dockery alleged the defendants conspired with the “complicit judges” to deprive him, and other structured settlement payees, of their property and constitutional rights, in judicial proceedings – filed pursuant to the Virginia Structured Settlement Protection Act – concerning proposed sales of structured settlement payment rights. The ten-count complaint includes claims of deprivation of due process, violations of the Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), conspiracy to violate RICO, and unjust enrichment, as well as for a constructive trust. The class-action complaint is available here.
This month, the parties continued to file motion papers battling over whether the case should be dismissed
The case is captioned Dockery v. Heretick, et al., Civil Action No. 1:17cv4114 (E.D. Pa.). Earlier Secondary Insurance Market Blog Posts about the Dockery litigation are available here (describing the allegations of the complaint in additional detail) and here (describing a February 2nd article in the Virginia Pilot newspaper about the lawsuit).