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Race and Gender Bias Leaks Into Personal Injury Damages

The Washington Post's Kim Soffen has a fascinating--and sad--analysis of how racial bias and gender bias affects the amount of money that plaintiffs can recover from lawsuits. This results from the use of models to determine how much a plaintiff has lost in future income and that include estimates based on someone's race and gender. This isn't just a reflection of the gender and racial wealth gap in the United States because we already know that implicit bias appears to cause a difference in how much white men make in comparison to white women and women of color for the same jobs. Soffen reports that projections that take into account average earnings by race and gender result in white and male victims receiving larger awards.

The Affordable Care Act has banned the the use of race and gender averages in health care premiums. Perhaps tort recovery lawsuits should have the same rule.