Denver Empirical Justice Institute

Per Diem Damage Arguments

John Campbell, Bernard Chao & Christopher Robertson, Time is Money: An Empirical Assessment of Non-Economic Damages Arguments 95 Washington University Law Review 1 (2017).

Using a medical malpractice based mini-trial, we studied how various arguments relating to non-economic damage impacted liability and damages. Specifically, we studied demands that included only a lump sum request, demands that supported that request with a per diem calculation, demands that included only a per diem calculation but no dollar demand, and demands that did not include a lump sum demand or a per diem. These four situations mimic the prevailing legal regimes regarding closing argument and non-economic damage. We made a number of interesting findings. Our paper can be found here. Watch the videos and see if our answers match your expectations.

In video clip 1, View Video Clip 1
The plaintiff’s attorney asks the jury to award $5 million dollars and then takes the plaintiff’s 9.5 year expected life span and tells the jury how many days of pain and suffering that translates to.

In video clip 2, View Video Clip 2
The plaintiff’s attorney asks for $5 million dollars for pain and suffering over plaintiff’s 9.5 year expected life span.

In video clip 3, View Video Clip 3
The plaintiff’s attorney takes the plaintiff’s 9.5 year expected life span and tells the jury how many days of pain and suffering that translates to.

In video clip 4, View Video Clip 4
The plaintiff attorney asks the jury to decide how much money to award for pain and suffering over plaintiff’s 9.5 year expected life span.

Sturm College of Law
University of Denver
2255 E. Evans Avenue
Denver, CO 80208