Justice Catalyst Law, in partnership with 15 other organizations, recently sent a letter to the National Association of Forensic Economics to demand that they take action to stop economists from using race and gender to discriminate against women and people of color when calculating damages. For decades, economists have used statistics based on race and gender to determine victims’ life earnings in wrongful death and disability cases, for example, severely devaluing the lives of women and people of color while also reinforcing structural inequalities.
Time and again, courts have struck down discrimination in damages calculations when they notice it. But the organizations signing onto this letter understand that judged and lawyers rely heavily on forensic economists for their future earnings’ projections, without double-checking the math. For this reason, we strongly urge the trade association for these economists to condemn the practice and prohibit it in their rules of ethics governing the industry.