Kerner v. City and County of Denver
OPINION AND ORDER ON DAMAGES by Chief Judge Marcia S. Krieger on 7/8/16. (pglov)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLORADO
Honorable Marcia S. Krieger
Civil Action No. 11-cv-00256-MSK-KMT
MARIAN G. KERNER; and
ROMONA J. LOPEZ, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated,
CITY AND COUNTY OF DENVER,
OPINION AND ORDER ON DAMAGES
THIS MATTER comes before the Court pursuant to the parties briefing (# 224, 225)
addressing the appropriate calculations for purposes of awarding damages in this case.
The Court assumes the reader’s familiarity with the proceedings to date. In summary, the
Plaintiffs, a class of black and Hispanic applicants for various positions with the City and County
of Denver (“Denver”), alleged that Denver’s use of a written employment screening test, the
“AccuPlacer,” had a disparate impact on minority applicants in violation of Title VII of the Civil
Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e.
Following an eight-day bench trial in April 2016, the Court found in favor of the
Plaintiffs, but observed that both parties’ damage experts had provided constantly-shifting
models and calculations at trial, making an immediate award of damages impossible.
Addressing various points of dispute that had arisen between the parties with regard to damages,
the Court set out, in detail, a series of findings that would govern an award of damages, and
directed the parties to have their experts make calculations consistent with the directives and
based on the data in the trial record. The Court expected that, given the detailed and specific
instructions it gave, the parties would be able to agree upon a final damage amount that could be
embodied in a judgment.
The parties’ briefing makes clear that this expectation was optimistic. The parties have
identified six separate areas in which they were unable to agree how to implement the Court’s
instructions. The Court has now reviewed the parties’ briefing on these issues, the instructions
that it gave to the parties, and the trial record. It now proceeds to resolve those disputes and
enter judgment. In doing so, the Court notes that its analysis is guided by Docket # 225-1, a
chart prepared by the Plaintiffs that shows Dr. Mullin’s “baseline” damage calculation of
$1,164,523. That chart identifies the disputed issues between the parties and identifies the dollar
value attributed to the Plaintiffs’ positions on the various issues.
A. Calculation of shortfall
The Court directed that the first step of the damages calculation entail a calculation of
“shortfall” which measures the disparate impact the test had on minority test takers. It is a
calculation of “the percent of black and Hispanic applicants in the initial pool minus the percent
of black and Hispanic applicants remaining in the pool after the AccuPlacer test was
administered, with that figure multiplied by the number of jobs in the classification for which
hires were actually made.” The Court directed that this calculation be made separately for each
of the 20 different job classifications1 at issue in the case. It is clear that the parties disagree as to
At trial, there were 21 job classifications at issue. The Court found that there was no disparate
impact with regard to one classification, thus the measure for calculation of damage is limited to
how to perform this shortfall calculation, although, as explained below, it is not clear whether
this disagreement has any tangible consequences.
Facially, Denver’s explanation for its shortfall calculations appears to contradict the
instructions given by the Court. Exhibit B to Denver’s brief is a set of assumptions and
calculations by its damages expert, Dr. Mullin. Page 2 of that exhibit summarizes Dr. Mullin’s
assumptions and the additional calculations required by the Court. That list of assumptions notes
that, for purposes of trial, Dr. Mullin did not calculate damages for 12 of the 20 job
classifications. It explains that, to calculate damages for the additional 12 classifications as
required by the Court’s ruling, Dr. Mullin calculated the damages for the additional classes by
“simple scale up of 8 job classes based on shortfall proportions and additional scale up based on
weighted difference in average starting salaries between 8 significant job classes and remaining
classes with a shortfall[,] weighted by shortfall.” Denver’s brief does not elaborate on this
methodology, and the description is largely inscrutable to the Court. It does not appear that Dr.
Mullin performed the classification-by-classification shortfall analysis as the Court directed.
The Plaintiffs’ expert, Dr. Bardwell, appears to have complied with the Court’s
instructions. In addition to the 8 classifications for which the where the parties identified
significant shortfalls at trial – Dr. Bardwell concluded that 7 additional classifications showed
small shortfalls reflecting a range of .06 to .1 of a hire.
It was the Court’s intention that the calculation of damages would occur on a
classification-by-classification basis, and thus, an individualized determination of each job
classification’s particular shortfall would be an essential component of the calculation. Although
it is somewhat unclear as to whether Denver did or did not perform those individualized
calculations, the Plaintiffs concede that the difference between Denver’s calculations on this
point and their own reflects a difference in damages of a mere $ 2,182. Accordingly, the Court
adopts the Plaintiffs’ method of calculating shortfall. Denver’s initial calculation of damages –
with all of the disputes resolved in its favor – yields the baseline figure of $ 1,164.523. The
Court begins from that calculation, and then adds $ 2,182 to that amount to reflect Dr.
Bardwell’s more correct calculation of shortfall.
B. Damages start date
Calculating the appropriate hire date for a given job classification is necessary for two
purposes: first, it measures when damages begin to accrue, and second, because the Court has
declared that damage accrual will end after a specific period of time, the hire date implicitly
establishes the endpoint for damage calculations. In short, the hire date bookends all damage
calculations. The parties disagree about how to calculate the hire date for each given
At trial, Dr. Bardwell explained that he “made an assumption of a 30-day delay between
the date of application and the date of hire.” The Court understands this testimony to mean that
Dr. Bardwell examined the date on which an applicant sought a job, and, assuming the applicant
received the job, began calculating that applicant’s earnings 30 days later. That determination is
a simple one for job classifications – and again, it was the Court’s intention that there would be
separate damages calculations for each job classification -- in which only one hire was made
during the relevant period: the hire date for damages purposes is the date on which the only hire
was made. For classifications that made multiple hires over the entire time period that the test
was in use, the selection of a particular “hire date” for all applicants in that class is more
complicated. Perhaps the most reasonable means of calculating a hire date in that situation is to
calculate some sort of weighted average hiring date that falls in between actual dates of hire.2
According to Exhibit 2 to Denver’s brief, Dr. Mullin selected the hire date for his
calculations by deriving the “average of start dates of 298 hires by job class.” The “by job class”
reference here is unclear: it is not clear whether Dr. Mullin derived a single average start date for
the entire class, or whether he derived 20 average hire dates, one for each classification.
However, the calculation of “average” start dates by Dr. Mullin appears to conform to the
Court’s expectations as to how the parties would compute hire dates for each job classification.
Dr. Bardwell instead chose a different meaning for the term “hire date,” selecting the last
date on which any of the positions at issue in this case were filled, and apparently using that as
the hire date for all classifications. Using this late date – August 18, 2008 – benefits the
Plaintiffs by delaying the date for the ending of damage accrual to as late as possible.3 But doing
so distorts the model the Court intended to be used. For example, according to Trial Exhibit 7,
three openings in job classification for Aviation Customer Service Agent were filled during the
relevant period, all on July 9, 2007. For this job classification, the hiring date for damages
calculation purposes would unambiguously begin on July 9, 2007, and conclude 8.2 years later
(somewhere in the neighborhood of September 24, 2015). Artificially selecting a hiring date of
August 18, 2008 for this classification for damages purposes would delay the accrual of damages
For example, if Denver filled two positions on February 1 of the year, one position on
July 1 of the year, and one position on August 1, the weighted average hire date might measure
from January 1 of that year and be: (2 x 31 days) + (180 days) + (211 days), for a total of 453
days, divide that sum by four for an average of 113 days, and thus set the average hire date at
At the same time, selecting this late date would also have the effect of delaying the
beginning of damage accrual, to the Plaintiffs’ detriment. It is not clear to the Court whether Dr.
Bardwell’s model is internally inconsistent, using August 18, 2008 as the hiring date for both the
beginning and end of damages calculations, or whether Dr. Bardwell has chosen a different
“hiring date” for purposes of commencing damage accrual.
for these positions for over a year and, similarly, extend the ending date for such damages by an
equal amount. There is no logical basis for doing so. Dr. Bardwell’s basis for selecting a single
hiring date for all classes seems to be based on his interpretation of an instruction from the Court
that damages would cease at the end of 8.2 years “from the last hiring date at issue here.”
Admittedly, the “here” at the end of that statement may be confusing, but the Court’s clear
intention was that each job classification would entail a separate damage calculation, making the
selection of a unitary hiring date that would apply to all damage calculations to be impractical.
Accordingly, based on its understanding of the parties’ relative positions on this point,
the Court adopts the mechanism selected by Dr. Mullin for calculating a hiring date. Thus, it
does not further adjust Dr. Mullin’s baseline damage calculation in this regard.
C. Actual paid benefits
In calculating damages, the Court directed that the parties determine the median value of
fringe benefits that were actually paid by Denver to the successful hires, as a percentage of
salary. It was the Court’s understanding that the parties generally agreed that this benefits figure
typically reflected approximately 26% of an employee’s salary.
Although the parties appear to disagree with each other over what these calculations
yield, to the tune of more than $ 350,000, the briefing does not adequately apprise the Court of
the particulars of the parties’ dispute. Both parties acknowledge the general formula described
by the Court, both parties agree as to the source data that are to be used to make that calculation
(Trial Exhibits 8 or 126, which are identical), and both parties insist that they followed the
correct formula. The Plaintiffs contend that Dr. Mullin “reduces the benefits received by
employees approximately 15 to 20 percent in the first year of his calculations” as compared to
the trial exhibits. Denver alleges that Dr. Bardwell is using “new rates that were not offered at
Examining the parties’ damage calculation spreadsheets, the Court agrees with the
Plaintiffs. By means of example, the Court looks to each expert’s calculations regarding the job
classification “311 Customer Service Agent”. Dr. Mullin’s spreadsheet for this category (# 2242 at 6) lists the value of benefits in this classification at $ 10,325 for 2007; Dr. Bardwell’s
spreadsheet for this category (# 225-4 at 6) lists the value of benefits at $ 12,850 for 2007. Trial
exhibits 8 and 126 both list the value of benefits for “311 Customer Service Agent” as $ 12,850.4
This is precisely the figure Dr. Bardwell used, and thus, the Court will assume that Dr.
Bardwell’s calculation is correct. Whatever rationale that Dr. Mullin may have used in reducing
the benefit values below those shown in Trial Exhibits 8 and 126, that reduction was not directed
by the Court or justified by Dr. Mullin in the instant briefing. Accordingly, the Court adopts Dr.
Bardwell’s calculations and increases the baseline damages calculated by Dr. Mullin by an
additional $ 355,329, the apparent difference between the parties’ overall calculations on this
D. Unemployment period
Both experts included a figure in their initial damage calculations that accounted for
“unemployment” in some capacity. Dr. Bardwell never particularly described this element of his
calculations, and Dr. Mullin addressed it only briefly, explaining that:
I factored in a short time period with regard to the potential for a
duration of unemployment. So, as indicated previously, I
calculated an average start date, to start the damages at, and then I
built in a 20 week potential unemployment. I don't know that that's
Column headings in these trial exhibits seem to suggest that the benefit values they
reflect are 2008 figures, but neither party‘s 2008 benefit value calculations match the numbers in
the exhibits. Thus, the Court will assume that the trial exhibits reflect 2007 values.
necessarily, because there is no evidence that everybody was
unemployed, but I put it in there way, I think it was 20 weeks.. . .
[T]here is no necessarily direct evidence offer indication that all of
the individuals at issue were unemployed when they applied with
the City. Obviously, you can apply for a job even if you still have a
job. But I know Dr. Bardwell used 30 days, I used a little bit longer
period, so to extent, he was being defendant-friendly, and I was
being plaintiff-friendly. I didn't want to use nothing, because 30
days didn't seem to be one of those issues that you really want to
get into an argument about with another expert on the other side.
So I pulled in a duration of unemployment. I typically do it with
terminations more than I would do it with a missed hire. But there
is the possibility that some of the individuals at issue are
unemployed so I wanted to account for that at least to some extent.
Dr. Mullin’s explanation notwithstanding, it is unclear to the Court exactly what
accommodations were being made for “potential unemployment.” As best the Court can
determine, it would seem that both experts expected that rejected applicants would need a period
of time to find alternative – that is, mitigating – employment, and thus, each expert delayed some
period of time in the damage calculation before beginning to factor in mitigation effects. This
element was factored into the parties’ initial damage models during the trial, but, as noted, the
parties eventually refashioned those models by the end of trial and it is not clear to the Court
whether this unemployment period calculation remained present in the parties’ final models.
The disagreement between the parties at this stage suggests that it did, and now the
Plaintiffs ask the Court to adopt Dr. Mullin’s “plaintiff-friendly” estimation of 20 weeks of
unemployment, while Denver asks the Court to adopt Dr. Bardwell’s “defendant-friendly”
estimation of 30 days, a difference amounting to some $ 195,000. In essence, each party now
seeks to conclusively enshrine in the final judgment the benefit of the doubt that the opponent’s
expert extended to them in initial calculations.
The Court rejects both contentions. The trial testimony about this calculation was limited
(the quoted text above accounts for the practical entirety of the discussion about it), one-sided
(Dr. Bardwell never discussed his application of the calculation and his reasons therefor), and the
purpose and rationale for the calculation remains unclear to the Court even at this time. When
the Court was devising a damage model to apply, it did not intend to include any calculation
reflecting an unemployment period. Indeed, the very premise of the calculation is that most or
all of the rejected applicants were unemployed at the time they sought a position with Denver,
and that they remained so for several weeks after being rejected. The Court discussed this
assumption at some length in its oral ruling, finding the evidence on this point to be inconclusive
– that is, that there was evidence that some applicants (if not an outright majority) were still
employed at a previous job when they were rejected by Denver. In such circumstances, a
calculation that assumes those applicants to be unemployed for a period as long as 20 weeks
would be inappropriate.
The damage model directed by the Court anticipated that damage accrual would begin on
the 30th day following the calculated hire date, and, for purposes of simplicity, it assumed that
mitigation reduction would begin on this date as well.5 In this sense, to the extent that Dr.
Mullin used a 30-day unemployment period calculation when deriving the baseline damages
calculation referred to above, that calculation most closely matches the Court’s intentions. The
Plaintiffs can hardly claim to be prejudiced by a conclusion that mitigation of damages would
begin 30 days after a hiring date, as this is the apparent assumption that their own expert, Dr.
Bardwell, initially proposed. Accordingly, the Court declines to make any addition to the
baseline calculation on this point.
As the Court instructed, wage and benefit accrual and mitigation reductions would be
“prorate[d] for the first year of the calculation based on a 30 day after hiring date calculation.”
E. Annual attrition date
The damage model envisioned by the Court required an initial calculation of lost salary
and benefits, reduced by mitigation earnings. That sum was to be adjusted annually upward (to
reflect cost of living and inflation adjustments) and downward (to reflect expected attrition in the
employees who left employment with Denver). The parties disagree as to when the annual
adjustment should be made. The Plaintiffs contend that each annual adjustment should be made
on the anniversary of the “hiring date” (that is, a “rolling year”); Denver contends that the
adjustment should be made on the “mid-point” date of each calendar year (that is, July 1), with
the first adjustment being made on July 1, 2008.
In reviewing its ruling, the Court recognizes that its directives on this point were unclear.
Indeed, upon reflection, it appears that the Court did not fully contemplate the issue in the first
instance. The Court generally adopted Dr. Mullin’s mitigation approach, which used the “midpoint” date, but directed that first-year damages be “prorate[d],” a concept that is only logical
when using an approach based on calendar years, not rolling years. Upon reflection, it may be
that the Plaintiffs’ rolling year approach yields more reasonable results because it depends on the
hiring date selected. A rolling year approach ensures that a full year has passed before a year’s
worth of attrition is calculated. In contrast, Dr. Mullin’s “mid-point” approach applies an entire
year’s worth of employee attrition to a hire date that occurred only 40 days earlier.
At this point in time, the Court is persuaded that the rolling year approach urged by the
Plaintiffs is the appropriate means of applying annual adjustments. Because the Court intended
to have each job classification analyzed separately, the hiring dates for each classification could
differ. Take three examples: as noted above, the hiring date in the “Aviation Customer Service
Agent” classification might be as early as July 2007. The hiring date for the classification of
“Vehicle Impound Clerk” would be late December 2007 (two hires made December 10, 2007;
one hire on January 22, 2008). The hiring date for the classification of “Fingerprint
Identification Clerk” would appear to be August 18, 2008 (based on the single hire in that
classification). Using Denver’s approach, the Court would apply a year’s worth of attrition to
the “Aviation Customer Service Agent” classification on July 1, 2008, exactly one year after that
classification’s hire date, a perfectly sound result. But it would also apply a full year’s worth of
attrition on that date to incumbents in the “Vehicle Impound Clerk” classification, even though
those incumbents had only been on the job for about six months at that point. And it would
apply a full year’s worth of attrition to the incumbent in the “Fingerprint Identification Clerk”
position on July 1, 2008, even though that position had not even been filled by that date. This
result would be illogical.
By adopting the Plaintiffs’ rolling year approach, the first attrition adjustment for the
classification of “Vehicle Impound Clerk” would occur in December 2008, after those
incumbents had been on staff for a full year. The first attrition adjustment to the “Fingerprint
Identification Clerk” classification would occur on August 18, 2009, after a full year in that
position, and so on. Not only does this approach honor the Court’s intention that each
classification’s damages be calculated separately and according to its own particular details, it
also avoids illogical results, such as the notion that a quarter of hires in a given position would
quit within a few days or weeks of receiving that very job. Accordingly, the Court adopts the
Plaintiffs’ position that attrition should be calculated on a rolling year basis. Docket # 255-1
indicates that this change adds $ 152,773 to the baseline damage calculation.
F. Cliff attrition date
The last dispute between the parties concerns when “cliff attrition” – that is, the date on
which all remaining damages calculations stops. It is the date on which one reasonably can
expect that a hypothetical person excluded from a Denver city job by virtue of failing the
Accuplacer test would have fully mitigated his/her loss in the private sector.
At trial, Dr. Mullin proposed that this date should be fixed at five years after the relevant
hiring date. Dr. Bardwell’s proposal on this point changed during trial. At first, Dr. Bardwell
contended that damages should continue to accrue for an additional 10 years after the date of trial
(18 years from a hiring date). By the end of trial, however, Dr. Bardwell had reduced his cliff
attrition calculation to 8.2 years from a hiring date. The Court ultimately adopted Dr. Bardwell’s
8.2 year figure. It explained:
During trial, however, Dr. Bardwell abandoned this approach,
testifying on rebuttal that he had settled on a “cliff attrition” period
of 8.2 years. His explanation for the 8.2 year period is “based on
City’s data for attrition without assuming full mitigation at 5
years.” At trial, he explained that this figure “is computed using
the same actual hire data that Dr. Mullin used for his attrition
analysis, except that I don’t assume that it’s cut off at five years,
and, instead, use standard technique to estimate the average work –
the average term of employment at the City’s position as 8.2 years.
So it’s a standard attrition analysis, but not just be truncating the
data at five years.” Dr. Bardwell explained that he used a
statistical technique called the Cox Hazard Model to do this
calculation, and that he chose a point that reflected “90 percent
probability,” – which corresponded to 8.2 years on the time axis –
although he did not explain the significance of that choice or the
reasons why he selected it. The Court assumes that Dr. Bardwell’s
calculation reflects a point in time where 90% of hires will have
departed from City employment via attrition, such that the damage
calculation can effectively conclude at that point in time. Beyond
explaining his 8.2 year figure, Dr. Bardwell did not discuss his new
attrition calculations. . . . (Emphasis added.)
Although the Court adopted Dr. Bardwell’s 8.2 year cliff attrition figure, the Plaintiffs
now argue that the Court should instead extend that calculation to 21 years, nearly tripling the
baseline damage calculations. The Plaintiffs base this argument on the Court’s passing comment
that assumed that Dr. Bardwell’s otherwise-unexplained “90 percent probability” comment was
referring to 90% of the hypothetical hires having completed their tenures with Denver by 8.2
years. The Plaintiffs explain that, according to Dr. Bardwell’s calculations, it would take 21
years for 90% of hypothetical hires to end their careers.
The Plaintiffs’ request here is essentially a request to re-open the trial record, to offer
additional evidence, and then to ask the Court to reconsider its prior ruling. In other words, the
Plaintiffs ask for leave to allow Dr. Bardwell to clarify and further explain that the “90 percent
probability” comment does not equate to the completion of 90% of mitigation, to abandon his
previous position that cliff attrition is appropriate at 8.2 years, to assert that the proper measure
of cliff attrition should be the point at which 90% of hypothetical hires’ tenures end, and to
suggest that this date is 21 years after hiring begins. The Court denies this request.
The Court observes that Dr. Bardwell proposed two distinct – and starkly different – cliff
attrition figures during trial in this case, and is now proposing a third. An expert’s willingness to
perpetually re-shape his opinions suggests a lack of intellectual rigor and the absence of solid
foundations supporting any of those opinions. Moreover, it calls into question the expert’s
overall credibility. The Court selected Dr. Bardwell’s 8.2 year cliff attrition figure over Dr.
Mullin’s 5 year figure in part because it seemed less arbitrary and more data-driven than Dr.
Mullin’s, and in part because the Court (apparently mistakenly) believed that Dr. Bardwell was
suggesting that his figure accounted for 90% of the class’ damages. In this regard, the Plaintiffs
actually benefitted from the Court’s resolution of the considerable ambiguities in Dr. Bardwell’s
testimony, as the Court resolved those ambiguities in a way that served to bolster Dr. Bardwell’s
credibility. Were the Court to permit the Plaintiffs were to reopen the record to clarify Dr.
Bardwell’s testimony about the “90% figure” and to posit a third cliff attrition figure, the Court
might very well be inclined to revisit the entire “5 years vs. 8.2 years (vs. 21 years)” cliff
attrition question, and it might very well conclude upon reconsideration that Dr. Mullin’s
unchanged figure was now the most credible approach.
The Plaintiffs, having already secured the cliff attrition figure they proposed at trial, may
not now urge that an even longer period should be applied. Accordingly, the Court declines the
request to deviate from the 8.2 year figure it previously adopted.
G. Final issues raised by Plaintiffs
The final portion of the Plaintiffs’ brief requests that the Court make “an additional”
award of $ 100,000 to Ms. Kerner and $ 50,000 to Ms. Lopez, to compensate them for their
efforts as class representatives, and to request smaller amounts for an unspecified number of
additional class members who participated in discovery in this case. It is not clear whether the
Plaintiffs are requesting that these sums be segregated from the pool of damages awarded to the
class and be diverted to Ms. Kerner, Ms. Lopez, and the others, or whether the Plaintiffs are
suggesting that the Court should further increase the damages awarded against Denver to include
The latter proposition is, frankly, preposterous. The Plaintiffs point to no law that would
support awarding additional damages, over and above those reflecting actual injuries sustained
by the class members, against an employer in a disparate impact case for the purpose of
compensating a class representative for “steadfast devotion” to the case. See Hadix v. Johnson,
322 F.3d 895, 897-98 (6th Cir. 2003) (rejecting a request for an award to class representative that
would require “defendants to pay the incentive award [as] an additional expenditure”).
The former proposition, on the other hand, finds some support in the law. In class action
cases where the resultant judgment creates a “common fund” of damages to be shared by the
class members, courts have sometimes approved “incentive awards” that steer a portion of that
common fund to the class representatives or other class members to recover an additional share
of those funds as compensation for enduring the expenses and burdens of litigation. Id.; see also
UFCW Local 880 v. Newmont Mining Corp., 352 Fed.Appx. 232, 235-36 (10th Cir. 2009).
However, because incentive awards to class representatives involve taking money from the
common fund available to all class members, they are subject to particular scrutiny by the Court
for fairness and reasonableness. Hadix, 322 F.3d at 897.
Because any request to pay an incentive award to Ms. Kerner, Ms. Lopez, or others will
have to be made as part of a request to approve a distribution plan to the class, that request, along
with all other aspects of a proposed distribution plan, must find support (or at least no persuasive
opposition) by members of the class that are affected. Such proposal requires notice to all class
members, who must have had an opportunity to lodge objections. Thus, the Court will not
approve any incentive awards at this time.
However, the Court does note, in passing, that the $ 100,000 and $ 50,000 awards
contemplated by the Plaintiffs here are extraordinarily large and would be very likely to be
rejected. Hadix recounts several examples of incentive awards that were found to be reasonable,
including: $50,000 to each of six class representatives in a case in which the common fund was
in excess of $ 56 million (i.e. the incentive award was approximately .5% of the total fund);
awards of between $ 35,000 and $ 55,000 to five class representatives in a case where the
common fund was more than $ 18 million (i.e. awards valued at approximately 1.1% of the total
fund); and a $50,000 incentive on a $ 5.25 million fund (approximately 1% of the fund). 322
F.3d at 898. Here, the more than $ 150,000 in incentive awards contemplated would account for
nearly 10% of the total judgment against Denver, and after litigation costs are deducted from that
fund, the percentage is likely to swell even more - a remarkably high amount to be diverted away
from all class members in order to benefit only the class representatives. The Court advises the
Plaintiffs that it is extremely unlikely to approve of incentive awards that, in total, significantly
exceed 1% of the funds that are actually distributed to class members.
For the foregoing reasons, the Court adopts Dr. Mullin’s baseline damages calculation of
$ 1,164,523, and adds the following sums: $ 2,182 (reflecting the correct shortfall calculation),
$355,329 (reflecting actual benefit levels), and $ 152,773 (reflecting a rolling year for mitigation
purposes). This yields a total damage award of $ 1,674,807. The Court will enter judgment in
that amount contemporaneously with this Order.
Dated this 8th day of July, 2016.
BY THE COURT:
Marcia S. Krieger
Chief United States District Judge
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