United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
DR. MARIA ARTUNDUAGA, Plaintiff,
THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO MEDICAL CENTER, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
St. EVE, United States District Court Judge.
November 18, 2016, Defendant University of Chicago Medical
Center (“UCMC”) moved to bar, or in the
alternative limit, the opinion and testimony of Plaintiff Dr.
Maria Artunduaga's (“Dr. Artunduaga”) damages
expert Dr. Mark R. Killingsworth pursuant to the Federal
Rules of Evidence and Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharms.,
Inc., 509 U.S. 579, 113 S.Ct. 2786, 125 L.Ed.2d 469
(1993). For the following reasons, the Court, in its
discretion, denies Defendant's motion to bar because
Plaintiff has met her burden in demonstrating that Dr.
Killingsworth's expert opinion testimony satisfies the
Artunduaga was born and raised in Colombia, graduated from a
Colombian medical school in 2003, practiced medicine in
Colombia for three years, and completed a post-doctoral
research fellowship at Harvard Medical School in 2011. In
late June 2011, Dr. Artunduaga began working at UCMC as a
resident in the Section of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
(“PRS”) - a residency that lasts six years. In
2011, Plaintiff signed a one-year residency contract with
UCMC that was subject to renewal in the spring of 2012. Dr.
David Song served as the program director for UCMC's PRS
remaining claims in this matter include Plaintiff's
national origin discrimination and retaliation claims brought
under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C.
§ 2000e, et seq. In this lawsuit, Dr.
Artunduaga claims that beginning in July 2011 she was
subjected to discrimination at UCMC based on her national
origin. Further, Dr. Artunduaga asserts that she complained
about this national origin discrimination to various persons
at UCMC. In mid-November 2011, UCMC placed Dr. Artunduaga on
probation, and in March 2012, PRS faculty decided not to
renew Dr. Artunduaga's one-year residency contract. UCMC
denies that it subjected Dr. Artunduaga to any
discrimination. In addition, UCMC maintains that Dr.
Artunduaga did not complain about the alleged national origin
discrimination until after UCMC decided not to renew her
2014, Dr. Artunduaga enrolled in a public health masters
(“MPH”) degree program at the University of
Washington and graduated in August 2016. After graduation
from the MPH program, she entered a dual masters program in
Translational Medicine (“MTM”) at the University
of California at Berkeley and the University of California at
Dr. Killingsworth's Qualifications
Killingsworth is a labor economist with more than 40 years of
experience and has a substantial record as an expert witness
in federal and state litigation. See, e.g., Jones v.
YMCA, 34 F.Supp.3d 896 (N.D. Ill. 2014); Stagi v.
Nat'l R.R. Passenger Corp., 391 Fed.Appx. 133, 135
(3d Cir. 2010); Boyd v. Interstate Brands Corp., 256
F.R.D. 340, 353 (E.D.N.Y. 2009); Pippen v. State,
854 N.W.2d 1, 6 (Iowa 2014). Dr. Killingsworth is a professor
of economics at Rutgers University and was previously on the
faculty of Barnard College and Fisk University. He is the
author of Labor Supply and The Economics of
Comparable Worth and has also authored numerous
publications in the areas of comparable worth, pay equity,
employment discrimination, and wage differentials. Also, Dr.
Killingsworth has testified in front of United States
Congressional Committees and the General Assembly of
Pennsylvania. In addition, he has been a consultant to United
States District Judge Robert L. Carter, the Canadian
Department of Justice, and the United States Departments of
Justice and Labor. Dr. Killingsworth graduated from the
University of Michigan and received M.Phil. and D.Phil.
degrees from the University of Oxford, where he was a Rhodes
Dr. Killingsworth's Expert Methodology and
Artunduaga retained Dr. Killingsworth to analyze her economic
losses arising from UCMC's decision to terminate her
residency. In his August 2015 report, Dr. Killingsworth
explains the economic rationale and basic methodology that he
used, namely, “‘lost earnings' are the
difference between (i) the hypothetical earnings at each age
that Dr. Artunduaga could have expected to receive had she
been able to complete her residency at UCMC and become a
plastic surgeon (sometimes called ‘but-for'
earnings); and (ii) her actual or expected earnings at each
age, given that UCMC terminated her residency and that she
has enrolled in an MPH program with a view to entering a
career in public health (sometimes called
‘mitigation' earnings).” (R. 174-7, Expert
Rep. ¶ 2.) He further articulates that “this
methodology entails computing the difference between two
different streams of earnings (often called earnings
profiles) starting with the decision by UCMC to terminate her
residency, and continuing into the future.”
(Id.) For the losses in the years prior to 2016 -
when Dr. Killingsworth made his calculations - he added
interest. (Id. ¶ 3.) He converted the losses
sustained in future years to their “present values,
” namely, their values in terms of today's money at
an “appropriate rate of interest.” (Id.)
Killingsworth determined Dr. Artunduaga's hypothetical
“but-for” earnings stream had she completed her
residency at UCMC and had a career as a plastic surgeon by:
• assuming a salary that approximates her actual salary
as a resident in 2011-12 for her years in residency;
• assuming an annual salary for years as a fellow;
• deriving an estimate of earnings in her first two
years as a plastic surgeon by using the midpoint between the
median and mean starting salaries for the first year, and a
figure below the median compensation for plastic surgeons
with three and seven years' experience for the second
• extracting data from the Current Population Survey
(“CPS”) to derive an “age earnings profile
for Hispanic females employed as physicians or
surgeons” in 2013 and projecting annual earnings
increases tied to a “general growth in ...