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Statutes of Limitations (MICHIGAN)

Personal Injury - 3 yrs. [M.C.L.A. 600.5805(10)]

Wrongful Death - 3 yrs. [M.C.L.A. 600.5805(10)]

Med Mal - 2 yrs. from act/omission or 6 mos. from discovery, whichever comes later (but no later than 6 yrs. from act/omission) [M.C.L.A. 600.5838a]

Professional Malpractice (other than Med Mal) - 2 yrs. [M.C.L.A. 600.5805(6)]

Property Damage - 3 yrs. [M.C.L.A. 600.5805(10)]

Note - Some claims involving motor vehicle accidents are controlled by a 1-year statute of limitations [M.C.L.A. 500.3145] 

Product Liability (including Breach of Warranty in some circumstances) - 3 yrs. [M.C.L.A. 600.5805(13); Fries v. Holland Hitch Co., 162 N.W.2d 672 (Mich. App. 1968)]

Contracts (Written and Oral) - 6 yrs. [M.C.L.A. 600.5807(8)]

Contracts for Sale (goods) and Breach of Warranty - 4 yrs. (from tender of delivery) [M.C.L.A. 440.2725]



Statutes of Repose (MICHIGAN)

Products –If the product has been in use for not less than 10 yrs., Plaintiff, in proving a prima facie case, shall be required to do so without benefit of any presumption. [M.C.L.A. 600.5805(13)]

Construction of Real Property - 6 yrs. (10 yrs. for cases involving gross negligence) [M.C.L.A. 600.5839]



Claims Against Public/Gov. Entities (NOTE: “sovereign immunity” rules may apply) (MICHIGAN)

Injuries Involving Defective Highways - Notice within 120 days [M.C.L.A. 691.1404]

Claims Involving Public Buildings - Notice within 120 days [M.C.L.A. 691.1406]

Claims Involving Sewage Disposal Systems - Notice within 45 days; Entity then has 45 days to address the claim, cannot file suit until after said 45-day period  [M.C.L.A. 691.1419]

Against State - Notice within 1 yr. (within 6 mos. in actions for Property Damage or Personal Injury) [M.C.L.A. 600.6431]; Suit within 3 yrs. [M.C.L.A. 600.6452]

Every claim against any Gov. agency is subject to the general law respecting limitations of actions except for claims involving Property Damage or Personal Injury involving defective highways, in which case must sue within 2 yrs. [M.C.L.A. 691.1411]

Claims Against Transportation Authority - Notice within 60 days [M.C.L.A. 124.419]




Comparative Negligence (MICHIGAN)

Modified comparative (damages are diminished in proportion to Plaintiff’s fault, but Plaintiff cannot recover if he is 51% at fault) [M.C.L.A. 600.2959]



Made Whole Doctrine (MWD) (MICHIGAN)

Recognized and applied.  Insurer has no right of subrogation against Insured, where Insured’s loss exceeds his recoveries from Insurer and Tortfeasor after deducting atty fees and costs [Washtenaw Mut. Fire Ins. Co. v. Budd, 175 N.W. 23 (Mich. 1919)].  Unless passenger, who received payment under UM provision was made whole, there was no consideration for his promise to reimburse Insurer and reimbursement would be owing only if total recovery exceeded the damage suffered including costs and atty fees [Michigan Mut. Ins. Co. v. Shaheen, 300 N.W.2d 599 (Mich. 1980)].  There is no case law addressing whether or not it is possible to contract around MWD.



Economic Loss Doctrine (ELD) (Assuming No Injury to Person or Damage to “Other Property”) (MICHIGAN)

Recognized/applied when commercial parties are involved.  ELD provides that where buyer’s expectations in sale are frustrated because a product is not working properly, buyer’s remedy is in contract alone, since buyer’s losses are only economic; if Plaintiff seeks to recover for economic loss caused by a defective product purchased for commercial purposes, exclusive remedy is provided by Uniform Commercial Code [Neibarger v. Universal Cooperatives, Inc., 486 N.W.2d 612 (1992)]. 


ELD has no application outside commercial realm and, thus, does not operate to bar tort claims in lawsuits concerning sale of defective products to individual consumers who are injured in manner which traditionally has been remedied by resort to law of torts [Republic Ins. Co. v. Broan Mfg. Co., Inc., 960 F.Supp. 1247 (E.D. Mich. 1997)]. 


However, at least one court decision extended ELD to a consumer transaction, but only where purchaser’s expectations in a sale were frustrated because the product was not properly working.  The court specifically noted that, while consumer should not be charged with bearing the risk of physical injury from a product, the consumer may be charged with the risk that the product will not match his economic expectations [Sherman v. Sea Ray Boats, Inc., 649 N.W.2d 783 (Mich. App. 2002)]



Certificate/Affidavit Of Merit Requirements (Claims Against Licensed Professionals) (MICHIGAN)

In medical malpractice actions, Plaintiff must file an affidavit of merit signed by a health professional who Plaintiff reasonably believes meets the requirements for an expert witness [M.C.L.A. 600.2912d]



Landlord/Tenant Subrogation (MICHIGAN)

No subrogation, “Sutton Rule” applies.  Absent express lease provisions establishing Tenant’s liability for negligently started fires, Tenant may reasonably expect that her rental payments will be used to cover Lessor’s fire insurance premiums [New Hampshire Ins. Group v. Labombard, 399 N.W.2d 52 (Mich. App. 1986)]

Reimbursement of Deductible(s) (MICHIGAN)

No law available.




MedPay and PIP - Subrogation/recovery is allowed in limited situations; such as: (1) accident occurring outside the state; (2) actions against uninsured owners/operators; (3) cases involving intentional torts; or (4) case involving out-of-state tortfeasor [Lakes American Life Ins. Co. v. Citizens Ins. Co., 479 N.W.2d 20 (Mich. App. 1991); State Auto Ins. Companies v. Velazquez, 703 N.W.2d 223 (Mich. App. 2005)]



Liability of Parents (MICHIGAN)

$2,500 for malicious or willful acts [M.C.L.A. 600.2913]


Joint Liability (MICHIGAN)

Several liability (Plaintiff can recover from each Defendant only that Defendant’s share of liability).  There are some exceptions, including Med Mal cases (joint and several liability applies). [M.C.L.A. 600.6304].



Independent Cause of Action for Intentional or Negligent Evidence Spoliation (MICHIGAN)

No separate tort of evidence spoliation has been recognized [Panich v. Iron Wood Products Corp.,  445 N.W.2d 795 (Mich. App. 1989); Helzer v. CBS Boring & Mach. Co., Inc., 1999 WL 33441300 (Mich. App. 1999)] 



Conflicts of Law (MICHIGAN)

Torts - Michigan will apply the law of the forum state unless the court determines that superior foreign state interests exist which calls for application of foreign law in order to reach just resolution of controversy, notwithstanding the fact that all parties may not be residents of the forum state [Olmstead v. Anderson, 377 N.W.2d 853 (Mich. App. 1987)].  Contracts - Concern is to balance expectations of the parties to the contract with interests of the states involved [Chrysler Corp. v. Skyline Industry Services, 528 N.W.2d 698 (Mich. 1994)].


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