Individual States 

MICHIGAN

ASSUMPTION OF RISK

Assumption of risk is not a defense to a product liability action and will not bar recovery. Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. §600.2959 .

CAPS ON NONECONOMIC DAMAGES

There are no exclusive Products Liability statutes under this category.

COLLATERAL SOURCE RULE

In a personal injury action where a plaintiff seeks to recover for medical care, rehabilitation services, loss of earnings, loss of earning capacity, or economic loss, evidence of collateral sources are admissible after verdict and before judgment. The court shall reduce the damages, but the reduction cannot exceed the amount of the judgment for economic loss or that portion of the verdict which represents damages paid or payable by a collateral source. Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. §600.6303 .

COMPARATIVE FAULT

In a product liability action brought to recover damages, the damages sustained by the plaintiff must be diminished in proportion to the amount of negligence attributed to him or her. Mich. Comp. Laws, §600.2959 .

Comparative fault applies to product liability cases based on implied warranty. Feher v. Montgomery Ward & Co., 338 N.W.2d 729 (Mich. App. 1983) .

ECONOMIC LOSS

The Michigan Supreme Court has formally adopted the economic loss doctrine. Neibarger v. Universal Coop., Inc., 439 Mich. 512 (1992) .

Michigan's economic loss doctrine is broader than other jurisdictions in that it not only includes damage to the product itself, but may also include damage to other property when this damage was within the contemplation of the parties to the agreement. Quest Diagnostic, Inc. v. MCI WorldCom, Inc., 254 Mich. App. 372 (Mich.App. 2002).

Exceptions:

The economic loss doctrine does not apply where the claim stems from a contract for services. Higgins v. Lauritzen, 530 N.W.2d 171 (Mich.App. 1995) .

The economic loss doctrine does not apply when a plaintiff could not have anticipated a safety hazard involved in a product through bargaining or negotiation at the time of the transaction or purchase. Detroit Bd. of Ed. v. Celotex Corp. (On Remand), 196 Mich.App. 694 (1992) ; Quest Diagnostic, Inc. v. MCI WorldCom, Inc., 254 Mich. App. 372 (Mich.App. 2002) .

While privity of contract is not necessary, in order for the economic loss doctrine to bar recovery in tort, there must be a transaction that provides an avenue by which the parties are afforded the opportunity to negotiate to protect their respective interests. Quest Diagnostic, Inc. v. MCI WorldCom, Inc., 254 Mich. App. 372 (Mich.App. 2002) .

As long as some sort of contractual relationship exists whereby the allocation of risks could be allocated, then the economic loss rule is applicable. Great Am. Ins. Co. v. Paty's, Inc., 154 Mich.App. 634 (Mich. App. 1986) .

JOINT & SEVERAL LIABILITY

Liability is several only and not joint. Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. §600.2956 .

Note: Where a defendant is found liable for personal injury, property damage, or wrongful death due to criminal conduct, and the defendant is convicted, joint and several liability still applies. Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. §600.6312 .

PUNITIVE DAMAGES

Punitive damages are not available in products liability actions. Wise v. Daniel, 221 Mich. 229 (1922) .

Punitive damages are not allowed in wrongful death actions. Currie v. Fitting, 143 N.W.2d 611 (1965) .

RIGHT TO CONTRIBUTION

When two or more persons become jointly or severally liable in tort for the same injury to a person or property or for the same wrongful death, there is a right of contribution among them even though judgment has not been recovered against all or any of them. Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. §600.2925a .

The right of contribution exists only in favor of a tortfeasor who has paid more than his pro rata share of the common liability and his total recovery is limited to the amount paid by him in excess of his pro rata share. Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. §600.2925a .

A tortfeasor against whom contribution is sought shall not be compelled to make contribution beyond his own pro rata share of the entire liability. Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. §600.2925a .

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS

A products liability action must be brought within three years. Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. §600.5805(13) .

A wrongful death action can be extended up to an additional three years. Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. §600.5852 .

SPECIAL DEFENSES

A plaintiff may not recover if the proximate cause of his or her injury is found to have originated through his or her misuse of a product and the conduct could not have been reasonably foreseen or anticipated. Wells v. Coulter sales, Inc., 105 Mich. App. 107 (1981) .

STATUTES OF REPOSE

There is a ten year statue of repose for product liability. Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. §600.5805 (13) .

STRUCTURED SETTLEMENT

If the plaintiff and the defendant agree to a plan for the structured payment of future damages within 35 days of the judgment, the court shall order that structured payments shall be made pursuant to that plan. If the parties do not agree, the court shall order the structured payment of future damages pursuant to a plan submitted to the court by the plaintiff or defendant. Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. §600.6309 .