Legal News Line Feb. 17, 2015, 9:15am


LOS ANGELES (Legal Newsline) - A recent lawsuit accuses structured-settlement company J.G. Wentworth of violating federal antitrust law over a 2011 merger with a similar company.

Novation Ventures, LLC, filed the lawsuit on Feb. 10 against J.G. Wentworth and Peachtree Financial Solutions, alleging the two companies were looking to monopolize the industry with its 2011 merger. The lawsuit alleges the two companies together control at least 75 percent of the structured-settlement market. Novation, also a structured-settlement company, said it currently has a 7 percent market share.

The companies purchase the rights to future payments in a structured settlement for a lump sum that is of less value than what is left on the settlement.

The lawsuit said the vast majority of structured settlements occur in California, which requires a superior judge to sign off on such agreements and ensure they're fair. However, according to the lawsuit, judges had been making decisions involving these two companies without being told they were the same entity.

Novation's suit is seeking more than $15 million. The company is represented by Maxwell Blecher of Blecher Collins Pepperman & Joye, PC, of Los Angeles.

United States District Court Central District of California-Western Division case number 2:15-cv-00954

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