In injury damages cases, the court enforces the wage gap

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.

The author of the piece focuses on the fact that the judge is predicting things about gender equality over the next generation:

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.”

This is of course interesting (apparently the outcome of feminists’ fight has already been determined – a whole generation from now we still won’t be at equal pay), but I think the most important thing here instead is how incredibly messed up this system is. A woman’s injury is worth less than a man’s injury. A woman is worth less than a man. And it is clearly important that the law remembers and enforces this???? But if goes farther than that:
The courts can look at the capacities, inclinations, aspirations and educational and financial achievements of the infant’s parents and older siblings, if any.
The messed-up-ness is finally partially addressed at the end of the piece:
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.”
…Seriously. The things you learn. What’s clearly the problem here is that we are somehow supposed to determine the quality of life (as defined by the money awarded them) for people with disabilities based on what they would have been worth to capitalism had they been “normal” and whether there is someone to blame for them not being “normal” to pay that amount. How much money a woman with severe cerebral palsy might need throughout her life is irrelevant and equality of any variety is irrelevant.
Screwed up shit.

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