Was anyone else aware that the courts apparently think its their duty to UPHOLD THE WAGE GAP?
Damage awards to girls are routinely discounted by up to 40 per cent to reflect reality and the justices suggest it’s all guesswork.
In this case, the girl was born at Surrey Memorial Hospital on March 31, 2005 suffering from profound cerebral palsy as a result of brain damage from oxygen deprivation that occurred shortly before her birth.
The trial judge found the medical staff negligent.
In his calculation of damages, the judge accepted projections that the normal lifetime earning capacity for a boy who grew up in the girl’s socio-economic circumstances to be $916,600. The equivalent for a girl was $532,000, or $384,600 less, given female contingencies such as the time women take off work to rear children.
The judge, though, presumed that over the girl’s life, women would make gains in wage equality to the point where they were earning 97 per cent of men. He valued her lost earning capacity at $890,000, only $26,600 less than the average male’s.
Using female statistics to establish future-income-loss awards is fraught with difficulty, he maintained, because the statistics are based on historic data. They reflect patterns that may no longer hold true, and are unlikely to hold true in the future.
“This is particularly problematic in respect of gender-based statistics, because the role of women in the workforce has changed so dramatically in recent years,” Justice Groberman said. “The average income for a 65-year-old woman today may have little to do with what a girl born today will earn when she is 65 -the educational and vocational opportunities available for women have expanded greatly in the period since women who are now 65 entered the workforce.”
The courts can look at the capacities, inclinations, aspirations and educational and financial achievements of the infant’s parents and older siblings, if any.
As well, he thought the statistics and economic projections failed to fairly reflect the value of child-rearing and other home-based activity so the earnings tables were inherently skewed “so as to overstate male incomes and understate those of females.”