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February 2024

2024 Limitation on Noneconomic Damages in Medical Malpractice Cases in Michigan

On January 31, 2024, the Michigan Department of Treasury released its adjusted 2024 limitations on noneconomic damages for medical malpractice claims. The “upper cap” has been adjusted to $1,016,000 (increased from $960,500 in 2023), and the “lower cap” has been adjusted to $569,000 (increased from $537,900 in 2023).  

Michigan has limited the total amount of damages that can be recovered for noneconomic loss in a medical malpractice case since 1993. The current limitations are codified by statute in 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 2023 calendar year was 5.8%. The full certification of the Department of Treasury can be found here.

For additional information on these limitations on noneconomic damages, please contact Tony Pignotti or other members of our medical malpractice practice group at 734.742.1800.