How Did O.J. Simpson Avoid Paying the Brown and Goldman Families?

And now that he’s died, will the families of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman be able to collect on the 1997 civil judgment?

O.J. Simpson in court in 1994.
O.J. Simpson sits in Superior Court in Los Angeles on December 8, 1994.
(Image credit: POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

The name O.J. Simpson stirs a number of memories, including the slow-speed chase in the white Ford Bronco in 1994. Simpson was charged with killing his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman but was acquitted. A $33 million civil wrongful death judgment was obtained in 1997 against Simpson. The judgment was not paid in any meaningful way for the past 27 years and, with interest, has grown to over $100 million. Simpson died on April 10 of prostate cancer at age 76.

Despite the Brown-Goldman judgment, Simpson lived a seemingly luxurious lifestyle. This is primarily due to two reasons. First, Simpson acquired his principal residence in the state of Florida. Article X, Section 4 of the Florida Constitution protects a Florida resident’s homestead from creditors. The Florida homestead exemption provides two types of creditor and family protection as follows:

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John M. Goralka
Founder, The Goralka Law Firm

Founder of The Goralka Law Firm, John M. Goralka assists business owners, real estate owners and successful families to achieve their enlightened dreams by better protecting their assets, minimizing income and estate tax and resolving messes and transitions to preserve, protect and enhance their legacy. John is one of few California attorneys certified as a Specialist by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization in both Taxation and Estate Planning, Trust and Probate.