Forensic accounting expert witness advises on lost services valuation for decedent’s family

    Forensic accounting expert witnessAn investigative accounting expert witness advises on elderly mother claims of lost services from shooting death of son. Plaintiff is an elderly woman whose son fled from police after a traffic stop. Police shot and killed her son, who was in his 50s. The plaintiff claimed loss of household services and loss of household food purchases that her son previously provided.



    Question(s) For Expert Witness

    • What is the value of the loss for services and for food provided by the decedent?

    Expert Witness Response

    At the time of his death, the son was living with his mother and her husband. He provided many household services, including vehicle repair and maintenance, plumbing work, yard work, home repair and maintenance and taking care of the household pets. He also paid for nearly all of the household’s food.

    Using a life expectancy of approximately 10.1 years from the date of her son’s death:

    – A lost household services calculation was prepared through the plaintiff’s estimated life expectancy and adjusted to remove the percentage of total household production that benefited the decedent.
    – Furthermore, the value of household services was increased at an average annual rate of 2.50 percent over the period.
    – The 2.50 percent figure is the historical average annual change in the Consumer Price Index. The present value estimate is $70,000, rounded.

    Based on the Consumer Expenditure Survey compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the household would have benefited from the decedent’s purchase of household food in the amount of about $1,400 to $2,000 per annum. The present value estimate for household food purchases approximates $15,000.

    The estimate does not include loss of companionship or pain and suffering.

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