Economics of Wrongful Death Damages - University of Dayton
Economics of Wrongful Death Damages Economic Damages Lost support for survivors Market support Non-market support Limited to dependent survivors Does not include nonpecuniary damages such as emotional damages
Market Support Lost earnings or earnings capacity? Lost earnings less own consumption Factor Influencing Earnings
Age Education Location Gender Race? Taxes Federal law deducts taxes from market earnings Ohio does not deduct
taxes Other jurisdictions vary Present Value Analysis Some states provide a statutory discount rate Ohio does not Real or nominal analysis? Consistency Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp. V.
Pfeifer, 462 U.S. 523 (1983) The discount rate should be based on the rate of interest that would be earned on "the best and safest investments." Once it is assumed that the injured worker would definitely have worked for a specific term of years, he is entitled to a risk-free stream of future income to replace his lost wages; therefore, the
discount rate should not reflect the market's premium for investors who are willing to accept some risk of default. Worklife Only includes years of active labor force participation
Active versus Inactive Unemployment Age Gender Less than years to final separation Calculations typically push years up front Own Consumption of Deceased
Not deducted in all states Own consumption expenditures deducted in Ohio Only deduct expenditures that were for the exclusive support of the deceased Joint expenditures that benefit other family members should not be deducted
Duration of Market Support Life expectancy of spouse Typically exceeds worklife Remarriage? Market support for children Age of majority? Support for adult children Parental support?
Non-market Support Household production Home maintenance Laundry Cooking Production of products that
are jointly consumed Care of children Factors Influencing Non-market Support
Gender Employment Children Age Health (Healthy Life Expectancy) WD Damages in Same-sex Marriages Do we apply traditional gender roles? Do we utilize gender
specific data? Hedonic Damages Hedonic Damages The lost enjoyment of life More likely to be permitted in a survival action Expert witness testimony Varies among jurisdictions Ohio Not an element of damages in
wrongful death May be admitted in Ohio at the discretion of the trial court in a personal injury case
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