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Survivors cannot sue Florida attorney who arranged sale of wrongful death annuity

Eric Granitur is a Florida attorney who apparently works to help investors purchase structured settlements from injury victims.  It appears that Settlement Funding, LLC, referred Marcella Carter to him when she felt that she needed to sell part of her wrongful death recovery.  Many lawyers won't help a victim's family in this situation because typically the purchasing investors pay the families only pennies on the dollar for their future settlement payments.  Granitur is apparently an exception.  Either that or there were no qualified attorneys in Michigan with whom the family could consult...

In any event Granitur helped Mrs. Carter secure court approval of the sale of the annuity.  She then died during the annuity period and her family, including the court-appointed guardian of her minor children, sued Granitur for malpractice.  Granitur was defaulted for failing to answer.  He claimed he failed to act within the time period because he expected Settlement Funding, LLC, to act on his behalf---as it usually did.

Ultimately, the trial judge awarded a judgment of $88,000.00 to the family and Granitur appealed.  The Court of Appeals ruled that the decision had to be over-turned because Granitur represented the decedent--not her family--and no cause of action exists for legal malpractice in denying family members an inheritance.  The Court also refused to recognize any injury to the Decedent's Estate, since she signed the Transfer Agreement and the transfer was approved after a court hearing.
Thompson O’Neil, P.C.
309 East Front Street
Traverse City, Michigan 49684
Toll Free: 1-800-678-1307
Fax: 231-929-7262