Sample Forensic Economics Cases

Personal Injury:

  • Permanently injured truck driver requiring alternative, lower-paid employment. Damage award based on loss of earning capacity with future work life expectancy (WLE) appropriately derived at less than average due to pre-existing health issues (diabetes, obesity, smoking, etc.).
  • Expert for defense against plaintiff alleging impact of lead paint exposure on earning capacity due to probable lower educational attainment, with over $1 million loss initially requested based on Gamboa-Gibson Worklife Tables (GGWT). Provided input to counsel and deposition testimony with extensive critique of GGWT methodology, resulting in much lower alternative loss calculation by plaintiff’s economist not based on GGWT and ultimate settlement acceptable to defense.
  • Permanently injured cardiovascular surgeon with the U.S. Army, forced into early retirement resulting from adverse reaction under mandatory vaccine program. Initially rendered economic appraisal by another economist found no loss based on perceived limited remaining worklife and faulty analysis of his civilian earning capacity. Produced new economic report as second opinion on loss of earning capacity that factored in more accurate medical specialty compensation survey data and more appropriate worklife expectancy based on age and education.
  • Permanently injured minor child, result of medical malpractice, with no prospect of normal entry into the workforce. Damages include economic valuation of Life Care Plan plus loss of future earning capacity and benefits, based on age-earnings profile at different levels of educational attainment, allowing jury to choose appropriate educational prospects from limited demographic information.
  • Permanently injured factory worker (loss of fingers in industrial accident) with no expectation of post-injury paid employment. Damages based on loss of earning capacity with collateral source income offset (required in NJ), plus valuation of loss of home services/household production.
  • Permanently injured sales representative requiring alternative, lower paid employment. Damage award based on loss of earning capacity and loss of specific employee benefits, including use of company car and health insurance.
  • Permanently injured owner/manager of auto-body shop, required to hire additional personnel as on-site manager due to physical requirements of job. Damage award based on past loss business earnings and loss of future business earning capacity, due to required hiring of additional employee/on-site manager.
  • Permanently injured trainee and apprentice in skilled factory position, requiring alternative, lower-paid employment. Damage award based on loss of earning capacity had injured party completed training and apprenticeship program.

Wrongful Death:

  • Wrongful death of an infant attributed to medical malpractice. Utilizing age-earnings profile data by educational attainment level, projected alternative loss of future earnings and benefits scenarios for jury consideration.
  • Wrongful death of retiree receiving state government pension. Damage award based on pension loss, net loss to spouse of incremental Social Security benefit above survivor’s benefit, plus loss of household services and loss of companionship and advice services as permitted by state law.
  • Expert for defense against estate of plaintiff whose demise was caused by an industrial accident. Critique of plaintiff’s economist’s questionable valuation of household services loss (i.e., use of life expectancy instead of healthy life expectancy, given reliance on same source for “dollar value of a day“ valuation data) resulted in sizable reduction of award by jury.
  • Wrongful death of a first-semester nursing student with spotty work history. Damage award based on loss of future earning capacity as nurse’s aide, based on limited prior experience in same.
  • Wrongful death of a skilled, seasonally-employed excavation worker. Damage award based on loss of earning capacity at annually adjusted earnings.

Wrongful Termination/Employment Law (Note: All employment law awards include sizable tax adjustment resulting from fact that such awards are all federally taxable income, unlike awards for personal injury and wrongful death, and when realized as a lump sum, plaintiff is placed in higher tax bracket than if lost income were actually earned over time, and thus needs appropriate adjustment to be made whole):

  • Wrongful termination of senior executive for reason of age discrimination. Damage award based on valuation of loss of earnings and future earning capacity, including base salary, annual bonuses, stock option and warrant grants, forced premature stock option exercise resulting from termination, and various employer-provided benefits.
  • Wrongful demotion of senior executive service (SES) government employee for reason of sexual discrimination.  Damage award based on loss of earnings and future earning capacity (back and front pay), utilizing historical compensation differential and probable performance ratings among SES employees.
  • Constructive discharge of executive due to sexual harassment. Damage award based on loss of earnings and earning capacity at firm, including salary and bonus based on lost promotional opportunities, as well as employer-provided benefits, relative to subsequent employment elsewhere.
  • Expert for defense against police officer plaintiff claiming disparate treatment, sexual harassment, and discriminatory and retaliatory discharge. While on light duty assignment following injury that prevented future police work, plaintiff’s earnings loss claim was based on alleged offer of permanent civilian position within government allegedly withdrawn when sexual harassment was reported. While some damages for sexual harassment and loss of offered position were awarded, plaintiff’s requested damage award for earnings loss was substantially reduced based on more accurate potential earnings data provided by defense.
  • Wrongful termination of longtime charter school teacher with verbal commitment to continue next academic year plus written hiring letter for summer school; termination based on plaintiff’s refusal to pass a student. Damage award for back pay based on loss of earning capacity, plus contribution to 403b retirement plan, plus loss of health insurance benefits.