The front page of the St. Cloud Times lists deaths in the area, and today’s caught my eye. It is accurately reproduced below, with the ages highlighted:
- Madolin Bay, 91, Glenwood
- Melvin Beranek, 84, Foley
- Doris Butcher, 88, Onamia
- Annie Francis (Saumer) Carlson, 94, Isle
- Ruth Christ, 90, Shakopee, formerly of Princeton
- Allyn Davidshofer, 89, Cold Spring
- Eldon H. Lockhart, 100, Sauk Rapids
- Norma Elaine (Soberg) Norling, 76, Brainerd
- Robert E. Riddle, Sr., 81, Little Falls
- Geraldine L. Wieczek, 85.
Wow. the lowest age was 76, the average was 87.8!
Is there something in the water up here? I’m sure the families of all these people are grieving their loss, but they must also be praising the long lives these folks had.
Minnesota is one example of how income isn’t necessarily correlated with life expectancy. The Harvard study found that low-income, white rural populations in the North, including Minnesota, the Dakotas, Iowa, Montana, and Nebraska, have life expectancies of 76.2 years for men and 81.8 years for women. That’s substantially more than 98% of the average white population. Many counties in the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” fared well in life expectancy, but Nicollet County was the top at 81.1 years.
Here’s a chart ranking the states from a recent study:
District of Columbia
Data: Harvard University Initiative for Global Health and the Harvard School of Public Health
Life expectancy is something to which lawyers and insurers pay close attention. If a person suffers a permanent injury, that means they will carry that pain and suffering for a very long time. That’s one reason an insuarnce company will often pay a lot more for an injury to a 30-year-old than the identical injury to a 70-year-old.
But when highly qualified personal injury lawyers argue these claims with insurers, we point out a 70-year-old Minnesotan is just getting started!
We look for the opposite when a settlement is structured, as I pointed out in my Spring 2007 Practice Pointers Column:
Structured Settlement Specialist Tom Dunlap taught me another use of the [Life Expectancy] tables… When we buy structured settlements with lifetime benefits, we want the annuity company to use the lowest life expectancy, since this will tend to increase the amount of the periodic payments the company is willing to pay…. Tom indicates that an excellent specialist will investigate the medical records to see if there is anything that the insurer can use to reduce the life expectancy of the plaintiff. In many situations, the plaintiff receives millions of dollars more with a rated life expectancy!
Now, everything will be just fine if we can get Hawaiian InjuryBoard lawyer Wayne Parsons to lend us Minnesotans the weather they have in his #1 state.
As a partner with Bradshaw & Bryant, Joe Crumley has over 20 years experience with the firm—helping injured people and their families to secure just and fair compensation. Excelling in personal injury litigation, Mr. Crumley has secured numerous record-setting verdicts and settlements and won accolades such as MTLA’s “Trial Lawyer of the Year” and “Excellence” Awards.