What is a life worth?
December 20, 2005 10:38 AM   Subscribe

Some years back, I recall hearing an interview with someone regarding the relative value of the awards given out to survivors in wrongful death suits. Might have been on "This American Life." Help me find it...

I don't remember who the interview was with - perhaps an academic or a lawyer. The jist of the interview was that the determination of the "value" of a person's life depends on how much their present and future earnings might be, what sort of a family life they had, and so forth.

I'm fairly certain it was on TAL, but might have been elsewhere. Googling hasn't helped, nor has combing through the TAL archives. Bonus points for locating an audio file.

Also, any additional info on this topic would be greatly appreciated.
posted by googly to Media & Arts (7 answers total)
Best answer: Yup. It's this one.
posted by Alison at 10:43 AM on December 20, 2005

From the description: "How to Increase Your Value as a Person. In which we tackle the biggest possible how-to we could think of: how to make your life worth more. And we get answers. Real, practical answers. From the people whose job it is to think about this issue: insurance adjusters. Adam Davidson reports. (10 minutes)"
posted by Alison at 10:43 AM on December 20, 2005

Response by poster: Holy Moly thats the one. How did I miss that?

Thanks Alison!
posted by googly at 10:46 AM on December 20, 2005

Also see this. I remembered reading the article - looks like it was written by the same guy who did the This American Life story.
posted by TimTypeZed at 11:26 AM on December 20, 2005

googly, there was a great TV documentary about the Kenneth Feinberg, the special master of the Victim Compensation Fund created after 9/11. He also wrote a book about it.

My google-fu isn't helping me find the show though. Maybe it was a 60 Minutes segment (search for 'feinberg').
posted by lowlife at 11:31 AM on December 20, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks for the article link, Tiny. Looks great.

lowlife, it was actually the Kenneth Fineberg book (which I just bought) that got me thinking about the TAL story. I'll look for the TV program....
posted by googly at 12:10 PM on December 20, 2005

Response by poster: ..er, make that Tim, not Tiny.
posted by googly at 12:18 PM on December 20, 2005

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