Perhaps the best use of a lawsuit settlement loan to win a legal battle involved Hulk Hogan, a professional wrestler who made a name for himself in the '80s and '90s. Hogan parlayed his wrestling fame into a film and reality television career in later decades, and even people who had never seen a professional wrestling match were familiar with the Hulkster's famous handlebar moustache. He was beloved by millions, but he also had his fair share of brushes with controversy over the years.
In 2012, a blog site called Gawker Media released an explicit video involving Hogan and his best friend's wife. Gawker made a private moment very public, and in response, Hogan sued for invasion of privacy and for the intentional infliction of emotional distress. The battle that Hogan was entering had far more dramatic twists than any wrestling match he had ever fought, but it helped that he had a wealthy ally in his corner.
Compared to the average American, Hulk Hogan was a very well-off man, but his pockets were not nearly as deep as Gawker's. Knowing that they would have an easier time funding a legal lawsuit than Hogan, Gawker hired a team of lawyers who tried to drag out the case as long as possible. They thought that they had more money to throw at the lawsuit than Hogan did, but little did they know that he had received a legal cash advance from a billionaire with a bone to pick with Gawker.
Peter Thiel, the extremely wealthy co-founder of PayPal, felt that Gawker had been unfairly targeting him for years, and he set out to punish a company that he believed to be made of unscrupulous gossipmongers. He offered Hogan lawsuit funding to defray his legal costs, and that money made all the difference in the world. The lawsuit lasted for four years, and Hogan would likely have had to settle for a pittance if not for Thiel's litigation funding.
Gawker had a sordid history that dated back to its earliest days as a celebrity gossip blog. They routinely shamed people in the public eye, largely because they knew that they probably had more resources to devote to a lawsuit than any of their targets, and the First Amendment protects so much of what they said. Their money and their misinterpretation of freedom of speech made them cocky, but they made a strategic error in their fight against Hogan, and that mistake would result in their bankruptcy. The long and the short of it was that they picked the wrong guy to bully.
In March of 2016, a six-person jury awarded Hogan a judgment of $140.1 million. Just five months later, Gawker shuttered its doors, ending a thirteen-year reign of terror. They thought they could humiliate Hogan with impunity, but Thiel's litigation financing allowed Hogan to deal a death blow to a company that reveled in schadenfreude.
For Hulk Hogan, a legal loan meant the difference between a small settlement and a massive judgment that put his bullies out of business. Not many people who bring suit against someone who has caused them pain and suffering can expect to win a nine-figure sum, but for many people, a lawsuit settlement loan is the only way to secure the money they need to recover from their injuries and to avoid a lifetime of agony. Our top priority is helping our customers get the money they deserve, which is why we have low interest rates and an easy application process.
A legal loan is a "non-recourse" cash advance, which means that we don't ask for collateral and you don't owe us a cent if you lose your case. You also get to keep any unspent money from the cash advance. Because you only pay if you win, there is absolutely no risk to you.
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A legal funding is not a loan because you only pay us back when you win your case. That's right – there is no risk to you because if you lose your case you do not pay us back and you keep the cash.
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