Johnson v. J.G. Wentworth Originations, Inc.

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Contract Law
  • Date Filed: 03-01-2017
  • Case #: A156843
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Hadlock, C.J. for the Court; Sercombe, P.J.; & Tookey, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under California law, “where no interested parties object to the transfer of structured settlement payment rights,” the anti-assignment provision in the structured settlement agreement “do not bar” a court-approved transfer of structured settlement payments.

Met Tower, appealed a judgment approving the transfer of Johnson’s right to one future annuity payment and a portion of a future lump sum payment. Petitioner, J. G. Wentworth, brought a special proceeding under ORS 33.857 to ORS 33.875 (2005), seeking to discount Johnson’s beneficiary rights to one future annuity payment and a portion of a future lump sum payment; Met Tower, the obligor under the structured settlement agreement, objected. On appeal, Met Tower argued the trial court erred because it was entitled to enforce the anti-assignment provision contained in the structured settlement agreement with Johnson, thereby preventing Johnson from assigning his right to future payments to Petitioner. On appeal, Met Tower argued that the anti-assignment clause could not prevent a court-approved structured settlement rights transfer if no interested party objects. 321 Henderson Receivables Origination LLC v. Sioteco, 173 Cal. App. 4th 1059, 93 Cal. Rptr. 3d 321 (2009). Under California law, “where no interested parties object to the transfer of structured settlement payment rights,” the anti-assignment provision in the structured settlement agreement “do not bar” a court-approved transfer of structured settlement payments. The Court of Appeals held that under the express terms of the contract and because of the Obligor’s objection, the Obligor was entitled to enforcement of the anti-assignment clause. Reversed and remanded.

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