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January 2023

2023 Limitation on Noneconomic Damages

On January 31, 2023, the State of Michigan Department of Treasury published the 2023 limitations on noneconomic damages for claims alleging medical malpracticeThe “upper cap” is now adjusted to $960,500 (an increase of $73,000 from last year).  The “lower cap” is now adjusted to $537,900 (an increase of $40,900 from last year).

Michigan has recognized limitations on the total amount of damages that can be recovered for noneconomic loss in a medical malpractice case since the legislature enacted the limitations in 1993.  The limitations on noneconomic damages are codified at MCL § 600.1483.  That statute defines “noneconomic loss” as “pain, suffering, inconvenience, physical impairment, or physical disfigurement, loss of society and companionship, . . . loss of consortium, or other noneconomic loss.”

MCL § 600.1483 divides the limitations on noneconomic damages into two categories, which have come to be known as the “upper cap” and the “lower cap.”

The upper cap only applies 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 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 State of Michigan Department of Treasury adjusts the limitations on noneconomic damages annually based upon the annual percentage change in the consumer price index.  The reported annual change in the Detroit consumer price index for the 2022 calendar year was 8.2%.  The full certification of the Department of Treasury can be found here.

Please contact Tony Pignotti at 734.742.1800 or for additional information on this or other medical malpractice issues.