The state’s tort victims compensation fund has mailed checks to Missourians for the first time since 2005. Here’s why the program is important:
Suppose you are badly hurt in a car crash caused by someone without insurance. You win a lawsuit but the other person has no resources to tap. You are a victim of a tort–a wrongdoing–and you have no means of getting compensation from the person who badly hurt you.
The state has a fund that can provide you with at least a little money, eventually. But the only money going into that fund is a cut of punitive damages in civil lawsuits and it takes some time to build up enough money to make payments to tort victims. It’s never enough to pay all damages.
Labor Department spokesman Amy Susan says 62 people are haring 2.4-million dollars….about 21 cents for each dollar those people won in their unfunded lawsuit judgments. "Some of these folks have been waiting for anything in the mail since 2006," she says.
Twenty-one cents on the dollar might sound low…but it’s the best payout in the fund’s history. Susan says the average payout for the last decade has been about eight cents on the dollar.