Mich. High Court Rejects Medical Monitoring as Cause of Action in 5-2 Ruling

July 15, 2005

The Michigan Supreme Court has in a 5-2 decision rejected medical monitoring as a cause of action in a case where the plaintiffs had not alleged present physical injury. The American Tort Reform Association (ATRA) had filed a “friend of the court” brief with the Michigan high court urging it to render this decision.

“This ruling makes clear that in Michigan, merely being exposed to a substance does not give someone the right to sue for medical monitoring,” said ATRA President Sherman Joyce. “Now, the last four state supreme courts to rule on medical monitoring have all rejected it as a cause of action. We applaud the Michigan court’s decision to refrain from legislating from the bench and for recognizing whether a new cause of action should be created for medical monitoring in the absence of any physical injury is a policy question for the legislature, not the courts.”

Other states that have rejected medical monitoring as a cause of action include Kentucky, Nevada and Alabama.

ATRA filed an amici curiae brief in support of the defendant in the case, Henry v. The Dow Chemical Company. Other amici on the brief with ATRA were the Chamber of Commerce of the United States, National Association of Manufacturers, American Chemistry Council, The Coalition for Litigation Justice Inc. and the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America.

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