Jennifer B. Wriggins

Sumner T. Bernstein Professor of Law, University of Maine School of Law
Chapter Member: Maine SSN

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About Jennifer

Wriggins is interested in insurance and society, particularly distributional issues such as the question of insurance mandates – whether in liability insurance or the Affordable Care Act. She also works on race, gender, and law, particularly in the personal injury system. For example, when an African-American person is injured in an accident, will he or she be compensated with the same amount of compensation as a white person? Are there parts of personal injury law that affect women differently from men? How has the legal system in this area treated people who do not happen to be white men?

In the News

"Maine’s Made Progress on Domestic Violence, but the Job isn’t Done," Jennifer B. Wriggins, Bangor Daily News, November 6, 2018.
"The ‘Rule of Law’ is Critical to the Strength of Our Democracy," Jennifer B. Wriggins, Bangor Daily News, May 9, 2018.
"Fact, Not Opinion, is ACA Can’t be Safely Repealed," Jennifer B. Wriggins, Portland Press Herald, July 23, 2017.
"The Senate Health Bill Risks Mainers’ Lives. But It’s a Tragedy We Can Prevent.," Jennifer B. Wriggins, Bangor Daily News, July 12, 2017.
"While Antarctica Melts, Congress Ensures Beach Houses are Covered," Jennifer B. Wriggins, Talking Points Memo, May 16, 2014.
"The Power of Citizens' Initiatives and the Marriage Vote in Maine," Jennifer B. Wriggins, Jurist, January 17, 2013.


"Automobile Injuries as Injuries with Remedies: Driving, Insurance, Torts, and Changing the ‘Choice Architecture’ of Auto Insurance Pricing" Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review 44, no. 1 (Fall 2010): 69.
Looks at auto insurance and injuries from auto accidents in a new way, questioning the priority given to injuries from auto accidents in our legal system and discussing how pricing of auto insurance actually encourages driving. Proposes a different way of pricing auto policies (known as ‘pay-as-you-drive’) which would encourage drivers to drive less.
"Is the Health Insurance Individual Mandate ‘Unprecedented?’: The Case of Auto Insurance Mandates," University of Maine School of Law, April 2012.
Argues that auto insurance mandates are a pertinent precedent for the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate since they require people to buy insurance for risks they might want to bear themselves.
"Constitution Day Lecture: Constitutional Law and Tort Law: Injury, Race, Gender, and Equal Protection" Maine Law Review 63 (2011).
Looks at how race and gender play a role in tort lawsuits and finds that some injuries to women and African-American plaintiffs are still valued less than injuries to whites and males, because the earnings tables used by economists and judges to estimate lost future earnings are divided by race and gender. Also argues that using such earnings tables in court is unconstitutionally discriminatory.
The Measure of Injury: Race, Gender, and Tort Law (with Martha Chamallas) (New York University Press, 2010).
Explores race and gender in tort law, applying a critical approach to major doctrines in the field, after beginning with a theoretical and historical grounding.
"Torts, Race, and the Value of Injury, 1900-1949" Howard Law Journal 49, no. 1 (2005).
Examines how race has played a part in lawsuits seeking financial compensation for personal injury during the first half of the twentieth century, and finds that injuries suffered by African-American were valued for less than similar injuries suffered by whites.
"Domestic Violence Torts" Southern California Law Review 75 (2001): 121-184.
Questions why it is that, even though domestic violence is a common cause of injury to women, there are very few lawsuits seeking compensation for it. Finds the major answer lies in insurance policy exclusions, and proposes changes so that this common cause of harm would no longer be uncompensated.