The Michigan Supreme Court on Monday ruled that the state's tort-damages cap must be applied to wrongful-death lawsuits where the underlying claim is medical malpractice.
The 5-2 decision reversed Wayne County Circuit Court and Michigan Court of Appeals rulings in a $10 million judgment awarded to the estate of Mattie Howard against Jayesh K. Patel M.D.
Justice Stephen Markman, supported by Chief Justice Maura Corrigan and Justices Elizabeth Weaver, Clifford Taylor and Robert Young, ordered the case back to the Appeals Court for further review of constitutional issues not addressed because the appeals judges had upheld the decision of Wayne County Circuit Judge Gershwin Drain.
Justices Michael Cavanagh and Marilyn Kelly dissented, saying the wrongful death act contains no cap on damages and that the two laws serve different purposes.
For more news, see Crain's Detroit Business.