2022 Limitation on Noneconomic Damages
On January 28, 2022, the State of Michigan Department of Treasury released the 2022 limitations on noneconomic damages for claims alleging medical malpractice. The “upper cap” was adjusted to $887,500 (an increase of $36,500 compared to 2021). The “lower cap” was adjusted to a limitation of $497,000 (an increase of $20,400 compared to 2021).
The Michigan legislature has limited the total amount of damages that can be recoverable for noneconomic loss in a medical malpractice action since 1993. The current limitations are codified by statute in MCL § 600.1483. The statute defines “noneconomic loss” to mean “pain, suffering, inconvenience, physical impairment, or physical disfigurement, loss of society and companionship, . . . loss of consortium, or other noneconomic loss.”
The limitations on noneconomic damages contained in MCL § 600.1483 are divided into two categories. The two categories are referred to as the “upper cap” and the “lower cap.” The upper cap applies only if the medical malpractice results in one of the following situations:
1. The plaintiff is hemiplegic, paraplegic, or quadriplegic resulting in a total permanent functional loss of 1 or more limbs caused by injury to the brain and/or spinal cord.
2. 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.
3. There has been permanent loss of or damage to a reproductive organ resulting in the inability to procreate.
The lower cap applies to all other instances of medical malpractice.
The limitations on noneconomic damages are adjusted annually by the State of Michigan Department of Treasury based upon the annual percentage change in the consumer price index. The reported annual change in the Detroit consumer price index for the 2021 calendar was 4.3%. The full certification of the Department of Treasury can be found here.