The “51%” Rule

The “51 %” Rule

MCL 500.3135 provides , in relevant part:

(1) A person remains subject to tort liability for noneconomic loss caused by his or her ownership, maintenance, or use of a motor vehicle only if the injured person has suffered death, serious impairment of body function, or permanent serious disfigurement.

(2) For a cause of action for damages pursuant to subsection (1) filed on or after July 26, 1996, all of the following apply:

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(b) Damages shall be assessed on the basis of comparative fault, except that damages shall not be assessed in favor of a party who is more than 50% at fault.

Normally the question of a plaintiff’s comparative negligence is a question for the trier of fact. See Poch v Anderson, 229 Mich App 40 (1998). However, when “no reasonable juror could find that defendant was more at fault than the decedent in the accident,” then a plaintiff’s comparative negligence may be considered during summary disposition. Huggins v Scripter, 469 Mich 898 (2003)