class action

State attorney general watching St. Pete special needs trust’s bankruptcy, accusations founder took $100M

TAMPA, Fla.As a federal court appointed a committee of families impacted by the bankruptcy of a special needs trust fund company in St. Petersburg, the Florida Attorney General’s office confirmed it’s keeping an eye on the case.

In a court filing this week, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Tampa named a creditors committee, tasked with following the Center for Special Needs Trust Administration’s bankruptcy case and representing all the families potentially impacted by the situation.

“It just gives us all of a voice and allows us to represent all of the beneficiaries and give them a voice,” said Carol Mulholland, an Orlando mother who is among those appointed to the committee.

RELATED: St. Pete special needs trust fund founder accused of taking $100M becomes target of lawsuit: Court records

The Florida Attorney General’s office, meanwhile, told FOX 13 in a statement that it is following the case, adding, “we are aware, and the appropriate investigative agencies have been notified. We cannot comment further at this time.”

Several families, including Mulholland’s, have said they’ve contacted the FBI.

Last month, the Center filed for bankruptcy, accusing its founder, Leo Govoni, of taking $100 million in unapproved loans from 2009

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Bankruptcy Courts Are Good At Adjudicating Tort Claims

Economists tend to view tort law differently than lawyers—or state attorney generals—and this difference explains both the advent of bankruptcy trusts in adjudicating class action liability claims and the complaints by the latter group concerning this development.

Tort law covers someone who was injured because of an action or omission that harms another. Its purpose is to change the essential cost-benefit calculus for a firm so that it does all that is feasible to prevent this from happening.

A classic example of the application of tort law is the manufacture of the Ford Pinto. Engineers placed the gas tank in the very rear of the car as a cost expedient measure even though they knew it would leave the car more vulnerable to a fire or explosion in an accident. They concluded that the liability costs would be less than re-engineering the car to place the tank elsewhere.

The courts found this calculus appalling and contrary to the public interest, and Ford’s liability ended up being many times greater than if it had addressed this vulnerability to begin with.

However, these days tort liability is invariably driven less by a desire to incentivize proper decisions and more by the

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