Delaware Unclaimed Property Lawsuit Settled – Questions Remain Unanswered
In April of this year, we noted a lawsuit filed against Delaware’s unclaimed property authorities arising out of a Voluntary Disclosure Agreement with Select Medical that became adversarial. The lawsuit, which was being watched closely by unclaimed property professionals, challenged, among other things:
- Delaware’s use of estimation prior to the enactment of the statute authorizing estimation;
- Delaware’s alleged use of “arbitrary and capricious” estimation methods;
- the inclusion of non-dormant property in Delaware’s estimation procedures; and
- Delaware’s claimed disregard of the Texas v. New Jersey priority rules.
According to The Washington Post, the state and Select settled the case and dismissed all claims against one another. No further information on the settlement is publicly available. While this is probably a good outcome for the parties involved, it also demonstrates why there is relatively scant caselaw in the field of unclaimed property: the vast majority of disagreements between states and holders are settled without litigation (or, at least, settled before any case is litigated to a conclusion). So, despite six months or so of litigation, and doubtlessly thousands in legal fees, the questions and issues listed above remain unresolved.