In Lopez v. Tom Jones Homes, Inc., in Texas State Court, the plaintiff was seriously injured while working on the defendant’s work site. The plaintiff, who was an undocumented laborer from Central Mexico, alleged that the defendant’s home building work site was unsafe. Both sides agreed that the plaintiff would not be able to return to work as a laborer following his injury.

We were retained to analyze the plaintiffs’ pre-injury earnings capacity. In our analysis, we incorporated the plaintiff’s immigration status into the calculation of his loss of earnings capacity. We began by using data on undocumented migrant workers to determine the amount of time that the plaintiff could have been expected to work in the U.S. had he not been injured.

Data and research on undocumented migrant workers indicate that factors such as age, education, occupation, and state of residence have an impact on the amount of time undocumented migrant workers spend in the U.S. We used the plaintiff’s pay statements and data from the Mexican Census to determine the plaintiff’s expected U.S. and home country wages, respectively. The case settled before trial.