Our legal system often must determine the monetary value of a person’s life to assess damages owed. To make this determination, usually after serious injury or death, our system calls upon forensic economists, experts used to help calculate the incalculable.

Many forensic economists take the victim’s race, ethnicity or gender into account when calculating what the victim would have earned throughout their lifetime, often reducing the amount of damages solely because the victim is Black or Latinx or a woman. As a result, white male victims routinely receive higher compensation than people of color and women in similar cases. 

Now, 16 of the nation’s most prominent civil rights organizations are calling upon the trade association for forensic economists to stop this practice once and for all by updating their ethics rules to explicitly prohibit it.

Read the full op-ed co-authored with Dariely Rodriguez of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law here.