Litigation may take years to resolve, which can make it expensive for plaintiffs. Those who are pursuing a personal injury lawsuit are often paying out-of-pocket for some or all of their unexpected medical needs. On top of those expenses, they may be unable to work due to their injuries. Some will run out of money before settlement arrives. We founded the Bairs Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, to help those people pay rent and put food on the table. Our low interest rate is a big contrast from that of many participants in the for-profit plaintiff funding industry.
We are humbled that the Bairs Foundation is getting noticed for the work we do to help plaintiffs. Earlier this month, Executive Director Rachel Mathews and Co-Founder John Bair were interviewed by Law360 about the plaintiff funding industry and how our foundation is different. In an article titled, “How Litigation Funding Can Save, And Doom, Poor Plaintiffs,” author Brandon Lowrey uses the account of Dawn Farkas to illustrate how lengthy litigation can cause plaintiffs to drain their funds as they await their financial recovery. Farkas, who was suffering from injuries caused by a faulty medical device, was sleeping in her car before someone referred her to the Bairs Foundation.
Many attorneys are hesitant to suggest a plaintiff funding company to their clients, knowing that many of them have astronomical interest rates. Sometimes, what a plaintiff owes becomes more than the value of the settlement they’re expecting. It just doesn’t seem like good advice.
“Attorneys get kind of stuck in this case, where they don’t want to be a proponent for [lawsuit lending], but also know it’s a necessary evil,” Rachel Mathews told Law360. “That’s why the foundation has been so well-received. We’re offering an alternative for attorneys to send their clients to.”
With the assistance of the Bairs Foundation, Farkas began renting an apartment for herself and her dog as her lawsuit continued. The foundation has helped hundreds of other plaintiffs who, like Farkas, needed a helping hand while pursuing justice.
A West Point graduate where he served as captain and military aviator, John Bair continues his commitment to our country through his efforts within the settlement planning industry. He has represented families of victims lost in the Flight 3407 crash, offered pro bono services to the families of 9/11 victims and drafted the first consumer protection bill for plaintiffs (H.R. 3699).