Well, that is what it sometimes feels like, but the official term is settlement conference. It is a multi-day set of meetings organized by various casualty insurers and attended by plaintiff personal injury law firms, Ches Crosbie Barristers among them. This year the insurer-sponsored settlement conference is happening at the Holiday Inn in St. John’s over a three day period.
The insurance industry sponsored settlement conference is actually pretty good at achieving what it sets out to achieve, which is the settlement of a large number of personal injury claims. Most of these claims are auto accident claims, but many other claims such as slip and fall and other premises liability claims are settled too. The setting of the dates and times for meetings with insurance adjusters focuses everyone’s mind on the job at hand, which is arriving at a fair valuation of the claim. Unifund alone has 150 claims set for meetings, and there are five insurers participating, so hundreds of settlements will likely occur.
The settlement outcomes for these injury claims may sometimes seem a bit rough and ready, but let’s face it folks, there is no perfect justice. In the vast majority of cases, settlement is preferred and the settlement conference – or bazaar – is the way to go.