Law: Future Funding

A new way to treat tragedy

Twice, a worried Charles Younger, 38, asked the staff in the Stanford University Hospital deli very room about his newborn's inactivity. He got only brisk reassurances. Finally, after 40 minutes, Younger pleaded: "How can I tell if my baby is alive?" Anna was alive, barely. She was suffering from oxygen deprivation, and the child today is a quadriplegic. But at least Anna will have few financial worries. The reason: an increasingly popular new way to settle malpractice lawsuits.

Last week Anna's parents received the first payment of an annual...