About The Milestone Foundation

The Milestone Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that helps people suffering as a result of a catastrophic accident. We provide financial assistance to families that need help paying for basic living expenses during litigation.

The for-profit, non-recourse industry is unregulated. Most companies in the pre-settlement funding space offer “lawsuit loans” that make the cost of capital exorbitant for plaintiffs. But access to capital for families enduring a personal injury lawsuit (even at very costly rates) is oftentimes necessary in order for plaintiffs to pursue justice. Funding families in need during the course of litigation is critical to the civil justice system – without this type of support, the scales of justice skew in favor of deep-pocketed defendants who can afford lengthy trials. The Milestone Foundation provides low-cost access to capital so families have the resources to go the distance with their lawsuit. We offer low, simple interest in the name of the Seventh Amendment, to help level the playing field for plaintiffs.

Can the Foundation Help?

Since our inception in 2016, the Foundation has provided over $5 million in bridge loans to more than 520 families and plaintiffs pursuing civil justice. From personal injury cases to mass torts, The Milestone Foundation carefully reviews each application and makes funding decisions based on the merits of the case. Our strict underwriting process ensures we are able to charge simple interest at a rate well-below industry average, and our simple, clear contracts help attorneys and plaintiffs feel comfortable working with us. The Milestone Foundation is able to provide funding in all 50 states. We have provided advances for the following types of cases:

  • Personal injury/auto accidents

  • Medical malpractice

  • Class actions

  • Product liability/pharmaceutical cases, e.g. Roundup, Ensure, hernia mesh

  • Labor Law/FELA, e.g. railroad injuries

Life keeps happening even in the face of a personal trauma or illness. Bills, expenses, medical costs, student loans, and everything else are mounting. The Milestone Foundation brings together the resources, expertise and vision to find the right funding and front-end counseling to help people throughout the legal process. Clarity is critical to success. Our team communicates with families on a level that ensures they are making informed decisions about their financial future.

Our Team

Erin Waas
Erin WaasExecutive Director
Erin Waas joined The Milestone Foundation in November 2021. Erin brings nearly two decades of experience working in the public sector and with nonprofits in fundraising and communications, most recently at the University at Buffalo, where she served as senior advancement writer. Prior to relocating to Buffalo, Erin spent the bulk of her career to-date in Boston, where she worked in stewardship at Harvard University and also as a consultant for nonprofits of all sizes. She and her husband Chris have two young sons, Cormac and Oscar.
John Bair
John BairFounder
John Bair has 20 years of diverse experience in the settlement management industry and the civil justice community. A graduate of West Point, John went on to serve for seven years as a U.S. Army Captain and Aviator before starting his career in settlement planning and management. John has tapped into his network of experienced trial lawyers from across the U.S. for advice and guidance, and is proud to have formed The Milestone Foundation.
Amy Bair
Amy BairFounder
Amy has participated in the civil justice community for two decades, supporting the American Association for Justice and other public justice events and organizations. Amy has her master’s degree in elementary education, and as a mother of three, she brings family planning experience and perspective.
Julia DiCristofaro
Julia DiCristofaroCase Manager
Julia graduated from Binghamton University and has previously spent time volunteering with numerous nonprofit organizations, including: Identity, Catholic Charities Food Pantry, and Planned Parenthood Votes. Julia volunteered as a program coordinator, pairing various institutions with educational speakers on topics related to personal and professional development. Her previous experience increased her passion of working in the nonprofit sector.
John Abeel
John AbeelBoard Member
As a trial lawyer for fifteen years, John has seen many additional harms caused to vulnerable people by the for-profit, pre-settlement-funding industry. That’s why John has applauded and supported The Milestone Foundation’s mission since its inception. Now as a member of its Board of Directors, John is passionate about helping the foundation continue to provide affordable financial assistance to injured people and their families during the course of litigation.
Rachel McCarthy
Rachel McCarthyBoard Member
Rachel served as the foundation’s first Executive Director, from 2017 through 2020. Her time with the organization was invaluable, and she will continue to be actively involved as a board member, providing guidance to Erin and assisting with marketing initiatives.

Help Continue Our Mission

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“I never thought that I would be at risk of losing everything that I’ve worked so hard for. The funds that I’ve requested will give me the ability to get my house out of foreclosure and allow me to keep my vehicle, amongst other things. The amount requested is what it will take to get me out of the hole I’m currently in.”

Mike* is a U.S. Marine Corps Veteran. He and his mother were involved in a tragic accident when an 18-wheeler tractor trailer lost control while speeding on an overpass, jack-knifed, and hit their vehicle head-on. Since they were on an overpass, Mike and his mother expected their car to fly off the bridge, but the guardrail prevented the car from falling over. However, they both sustained severe injuries from the accident. Furthermore, when Mike had retired from the military, he had been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The accident made his PTSD worse, requiring even more medical treatment. The Milestone Foundation supported Mike and his mother so they could pay their bills, keep their home and vehicle, and get through this tough time together.