An emerging industry of investment firms that are providing the funds for civil litigation is quietly changing the United States’ legal landscape. Television news program “60 Minutes” recently took a look into the rising trend of third-party investors helping to fund lawsuits.
As noted in a recent Wall Street Journal editorial, litigation financing has led to a significant increase in tort costs across the nation. The “60 Minutes” segment highlighted the fact that some forms of litigation funding allow the investor to claim a portion of the monetary verdict if the case is decided in the plaintiff’s favor. These confidential agreements have virtually no regulation and have proven to be quite lucrative for the third-party investors. But do they alter the course of the litigation by complicating settlement discussions and preventing settlements that would be too low to recoup their investment?
The entire “60 Minutes” segment can be viewed on the CBS News website.