It’s that time of year when the State of Michigan Department of Treasury releases the adjusted limitations of non-economic damages for medical malpractice claims. The Michigan legislature limited the amount recoverable for non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases, which has been codified by statute (MCL 600.1483). Non-economic damages are defined by the statute as “damages or loss due to pain, suffering, inconvenience, physical impairment, or physical disfigurement, loss of society and companionship, whether claimed under section 2922 or otherwise, loss of consortium, or other noneconomic loss.” Every year the Department of Treasury adjusts the limitations “to reflect the cumulative annual percentage change in the consumer price index.”
On January 31, 2023, the upper-cap for non-economic damages was increased to $960,500 (up from $887,500 in 2022) and the lower cap for non-economic damages was increased to $537,900 (up from $497,000 in 2022).
Pursuant to MCL 600.1483, a plaintiff is entitled to the upper-cap for non-economic damages if the plaintiff can establish that they suffered one of the following injuries as a result of the alleged medical malpractice:
- (a) the plaintiff is hemiplegic, paraplegic, or quadriplegic resulting in a total permanent functional loss of 1 or more limbs caused by 1 or more of the following:
- (i) Injury to the brain.
- (ii) Injury to the spinal cord.
- (b) The plaintiff has permanently impaired cognitive capacity rendering him or her incapable of making independent, responsible life decisions and permanently incapable of independently performing the activities of normal, daily living.
- (c) There has been permanent loss of or damage to a reproductive organ resulting in the inability to procreate.
Plaintiffs with injuries which do not fall into one of these categories are entitled to the lower-cap for non-economic damage.
Click here to read the Michigan Department of Treasury’s 2023 report on “Limitation on Noneconomic Damages and Product Liability Determination on Economic Damages.”
Please contact David Ottenwess or Sarah Cherry for any questions on non-economic damages or any other questions related to medical malpractice defense.