Medical Malpractice Noneconomic Damages Limits Set for 2021

Medical Malpractice

The Michigan Treasury Released the Max Monetary Award Amounts at the End of January

On January 27, 2021, Michigan State Treasurer Rachel Eubanks released the 2021 limitations on noneconomic damages for medical malpractice cases. For verdicts entered in 2021, the low cap was adjusted to a limitation of $476,600 and the high cap was adjusted to $851,000.

As part of its tort reform efforts, Michigan passed a law in 1992 to limit the total amount of damages that can be recovered for non-economic losses in a medical malpractice lawsuit. MCL 600.1483 defines “non-economic loss” as damages or loss due to

  • Pain
  • Suffering
  • Inconvenience
  • Physical impairment
  • Loss of society and companionship
  • Loss of consortium
  • Other non-economic harms

The statute divides the limitations on noneconomic damages into 2 categories: a high and low cap. The high cap applies to 3 situations:

  1. The plaintiff suffered an injury to the brain or spinal cord rendering them hemiplegic, paraplegic, or quadriplegic and resulting in the functional loss of one or more limbs.
  2. The plaintiff suffered permanent impairment of cognitive capacity that both prohibits them from making independent, reasonable life decisions and permanently renders them incapable of performing activities of normal daily life.
  3. The plaintiff suffered a permanent loss or damage to a reproductive organ that renders them unable to procreate.

The low cap applies in all other instances of medical malpractice. It is worth noting that a patient’s death is subject to the low cap unless it meets one of the situations above.

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 2020 was 1.0%.

Questions about your medical malpractice case? Call Grewal Law PLLC at (888) 211-5798 to schedule a free consultation.

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