On Saturday, November 13, 2021, Drs. Jerome Paige and Subodh Mathur presented their latest version of their paper on avoiding reducing economic damages based on race and gender at the IARP 2021 Annual Conference-Virtual IALCP Symposium.  IARP (International Association of Rehabilitation Professionals) IALCP (The International Academy of Life Care Planners). 

Their presentation’s title was: “Avoiding Reduction in Damages Based on Protected Classes.” 

They focused on the California law that became effective January 2020 and that law covers groups in addition to racial and gender ones. It covers “protected classes.” (See Slide 48.)

Also, the California law focuses on “shall not reduce.” Thus, forensic economists can use a protected category like “race,” but they can’t use “race” to reduce their economic damages estimates. 

“Shall not use” is another approach. (See Slide 17.) Under this approach, there’s a prohibition against the forensic economist using a category like “gender.”    

Drs. Paige and Mathur have been thinking about and presenting on this topic since February 2020. They started with a sparsely filled conceptual framework. Over time, they increased their framework’s comprehensiveness. It’s no longer just conceptual. Also, they have recommendations. 

One major value added of their framework is that it structures the topic’s conversations, debates, and the options around issues like “shall not reduce.”  (See Slides 28-36.) Second, their framework includes “options and criteria. Third, they apply these. (See Slides 37-42.) They make recommendations. (See Slide 43.) Finally, they note that attorneys, forensic economists, and other professionals are working on the nitty-gritty of implementation. The issue will remain quixotic until the Courts weigh in. 

At the end of their presentation, they include answers to “frequently asked questions.” (See Slides 44-53.)

  1. Is the proposed language in federal and DC legislation the same as the CA law?
  2. What do you mean by “avoiding the reduction in damages?”’
  3. What are the “protected classes”?
  4. What’s the difference between “bias” and “biased data”?
  5. How do you account for the “socioeconomic status” of the parents?
  6. How important is Section 3301 in the CA Law?
  7. How does your framework account for “underlying bias”?
  8. Does your framework apply equally to loss of earnings capacity and loss of earnings?

Contact Jerome S. Paige & Associates, LLC if you have any questions about this topic or the forensic economic services they offer.