Pain and suffering quantified: Judge Weinstein’s concept of similarity between cases


Judge Weinstein’s decision in Geressy, Rotolo and Jackson v. Digital Equipment provides a method for determining reasonable compensation regarding pain and suffering. This method relies on selecting a group of cases similar to that of the plaintiff: the ‘normative group’. We perform a statistical analysis on the cases used by Judge Weinstein to understand how he selected the normative group and how this selection relates to the quantification of pain and suffering. Classification trees find a rule that determines the normative group for each of the plaintiffs. Finally, a cumulative link model relates the variables used in the construction of the normative group to the quantification of pain and suffering.

In Law, Probability and Risk
Rafael B. Stern
Rafael B. Stern
Professor of Statistics

I am an Assistant Professor at the Federal University of São Carlos. I have a B.A. in Statistics from University of São Paulo, a B.A. in Law from Pontifícia Universidade Católica in São Paulo, and a Ph.D. in Statistics from Carnegie Mellon University. I am currently a member of the Scientific Council of the Brazilian Association of Jurimetrics, an associate investigator at NeuroMat and a member of the Order of Attorneys of Brazil.