AMERICAN GENERAL LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY AND AMERICAN GENERAL ANNUITY SERVICE CORPORATION APPELLANTS
DRB CAPITAL, LLC AND RAY THOMAS, JR. APPELLEES
FROM BOYD CIRCUIT COURT HONORABLE C. DAVID HAGERMAN, JUDGE
ACTION NO. 15-CI-00843
FOR APPELLANT: Michael Joseph Farrell Huntington, West
Virginia Samantha Thomas-Bush Huntington, West Virginia
ORAL ARGUMENT FOR AMERICAN GENERAL LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY:
Amy Boyea Arlington, Texas Michael J. Farrell Huntington,
FOR APPELLEE: Matthew Beatty Demarcus Covington, Kentucky Ray
Thomas, Jr., pro se Ashland, Kentucky
ORAL ARGUMENT FOR DRB CAPITAL, LLC: Matthew DeMarcus
Covington, Kentucky Ray A. Thomas, Jr., pro se Ashland,
BEFORE: CLAYTON, DIXON AND D. LAMBERT; JUDGES.
LAMBERT, D., JUDGE.
an appeal from a Boyd Circuit Court order approving the
transfer of payment rights in a workers' compensation
structured settlement to appellee DRB Capital, LLC (DRB).
After review, we affirm the circuit court's order.
Ray Thomas, Jr. settled a workers' compensation claim
with his employer and its insurers. Under the settlement
agreement, the parties agreed that Thomas would receive
periodic payments through the purchase of an annuity. His
employer's insurer assigned its obligation to make those
payments to appellant American General Annuity Service
Corporation (AGASC) via qualified assignment. AGASC then
purchased the annuity from American General Life Insurance
Company (AGLIC) to fulfill the obligation.
these events, Thomas sought to transfer his rights in the
periodic payments to a third party in exchange for one
lump-sum payment. Thomas contracted with DRB for this
purpose. DRB in turn filed an application to approve the
transaction, which AGASC and AGLIC (collectively
"American General") contested.
opposition, American General argued that the language of the
settlement agreement, the qualified assignment to AGASC, and
the annuity contract each proscribed an assignment of
Thomas' payment rights. They also argued that the
provisions of Kentucky's Structured Settlement Protection
Act (SSPA), found at KRS 454.430 et seq., do not
apply to structured settlements resulting from workers'
compensation claims. After considering the parties'
arguments at a hearing, the circuit court ultimately approved
Thomas' assignment to DRB. The circuit court concluded
the SSPA applies to workers' compensation settlements and
further found that the assignment was in Thomas' best
interest. This appeal followed.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
construction and application of statutes is a matter of law
and may be reviewed de novo." Bob Hook
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