Labor Economics Expert Witness Testimony Allowed in Discrimination Litigation

Summary: Labor Economics Expert Witness testimony is allowed because the court ruled that her expert opinions on the calculation of damages will help the jury.

Facts:  This case (EEOC v. Jackson National Life Insurance Company, et al – United States District Court – District of Colorado – March 31, 2023), involves an employment discrimination claim brought by the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”).  The plaintiff, La’Tonya Ford, alleges that, after she moved to the defendant’s Denver office, she was discriminated against based on her sex, color, and race.  She claims that she was passed over for promotions even though she was a top performer in the office.  To enhance her case, the plaintiff hired Labor Economics Expert Witness Dr. Patricia Pacey to provide expert witness testimony on here behalf.  The defendant filed a motion to exclude this expert from testifying.

Discussion:  The defendant alleges that Dr. Pacey’s expert witness testimony is not relevant because the plaintiff actually resigned from Jackson and would thus not be able to obtain economic damages.  In addition, the defendant states that the jury is can calculate damages on their own and do not need Dr. Pacey’s testimony for that information.  In response, the plaintiff maintains that the question of how the plaintiff left the company is not related to the reliability of Dr. Pacey’s expert witness opinion.  Also, the plaintiff notes that Dr. Pacey is providing the jury with numerous calculations which will allow the jury to determine damages.

The court opined that Dr. Pacey’s expert opinions are relevant and will assist the jury when they calculate damages.  In addition, the court said that Dr. Pacey’s testimony will help the jury come to their conclusions.

That said, the court noted that Dr. Pacey’s opinions for the time after the plaintiff left Prudential will not be helpful to the jury as that is not part of her claim.

In addition, the defendant argues that Dr. Pacey did not analyze numerous variables that would determine the compensation of a wholesaler.  The court opined that the defendant does not provide any support that Dr. Pacey’s not taking certain variables into account would make her opinion unreliable.

Conclusion:  The motion to exclude the expert witness testimony of Dr. Patricia Pacey is denied.