Alleged Lost Earnings and Pension Benefits in a Police Officer Injury Case

This case study explores the financial implications of a police officer's injury due to an unintentional firearm discharge, which allegedly led to lost wages and pension benefits.

ByZach Barreto


Published on January 29, 2024

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Case Overview

This case study delves into an incident involving a police officer who sustained injuries when their service weapon unintentionally discharged. The firearm, stored inside a duffel bag, fired without any trigger pull, striking the officer's leg. In the aftermath of this unfortunate event, the officer sought promotion within the police department but was unsuccessful.

Allegedly, this denial resulted in substantial losses in wages and pension benefits for the officer. An expert in forensic economics was engaged to review the case and provide an analysis of the potential difference in earning capacity and pension benefits had the promotion been granted.

Questions to the Forensic Economics expert and their responses


Could you describe your professional background in forensic economics, particularly as it pertains to lost wages and benefit analysis?

I bring over 20 years of experience in valuing lost earnings, specifically those resulting from injuries, wrongful death, medical malpractice, and employment issues.

My expertise also extends to evaluating earnings and benefits accruing to members of groups such as firefighters, police officers, government employees, and beneficiaries of statutory-defined pension benefits.


Have you ever reviewed a similar case? If yes, could you elaborate?

Yes, I have reviewed similar cases throughout my career where I assessed lost or diminished earnings due to various circumstances including personal injury or employment-related issues.

About the expert

This expert boasts over two decades of experience in forensic economics and econometrics, with a strong academic background from the University of New Mexico and the University of Chicago. They have held significant roles at various economic consulting firms and served as an adjunct professor of economics at a well-known university. Currently leading a forensic economics firm, they are also an active member of the National Association of Forensic Economics and have contributed to academia through peer reviews for respected journals and presentations on tort litigation damages.

Expert headshot



About the author

Zach Barreto

Zach Barreto

Zach Barreto is a distinguished professional in the legal industry, currently serving as the Senior Vice President of Research at the Expert Institute. With a deep understanding of a broad range of legal practice areas, Zach's expertise encompasses personal injury, medical malpractice, mass torts, defective products, and many other sectors. His skills are particularly evident in handling complex litigation matters, including high-profile cases like the Opioids litigation, NFL Concussion Litigation, California Wildfires, 3M earplugs, Elmiron, Transvaginal Mesh, NFL Concussion Litigation, Roundup, Camp Lejeune, Hernia Mesh, IVC filters, Paraquat, Paragard, Talcum Powder, Zantac, and many others.

Under his leadership, the Expert Institute’s research team has expanded impressively from a single member to a robust team of 100 professionals over the last decade. This growth reflects his ability to navigate the intricate and demanding landscape of legal research and expert recruitment effectively. Zach has been instrumental in working on nationally significant litigation matters, including cases involving pharmaceuticals, medical devices, toxic chemical exposure, and wrongful death, among others.

At the Expert Institute, Zach is responsible for managing all aspects of the research department and developing strategic institutional relationships. He plays a key role in equipping attorneys for success through expert consulting, case management, strategic research, and expert due diligence provided by the Institute’s cloud-based legal services platform, Expert iQ.

Educationally, Zach holds a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and European History from Vanderbilt University.

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