CEFU Attorneys Slank and Brown Secure a Michigan Supreme Court Appellate Reversal


On July 23, 2012, Noreen Slank and Geoff Brown secured a Michigan Supreme Court appellate reversal of the lower courts in Velez v Tuma. Velez is a medical malpractice case tried to a jury verdict in plaintiff’s favor. The Supreme Court directed the trial court to subtract $195,000 from the judgment. That is the amount of a settlement by co-defendants before the trial. The Supreme Court ruled that common law settlement setoffs survive in joint liability medical malpractice cases and that the settlement must be subtracted after the jury’s verdict has been reduced by the noneconomic damage cap, collateral source reductions, and all other statutorily required adjustments. The lower courts were wrong to subtract the settlement from the jury’s verdict rather than from what would otherwise have been the judgment.

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