MCR 2.613 Interpretation
In Solomon v. Shuell, 435 Mich 104; 457 NW2d 669 (1990) (opinion by Boyle, J.), the basic tenants of the doctrine of harmless error in civil cases are set forth:
The threshold for reversal based on evidentiary error is stated in MCR 2.613:
(A) Harmless Error. An error in the admission or the exclusion of evidence . . . is not ground for granting a new trial, for setting aside a verdict, or for vacating, modifying, or otherwise disturbing a judgment or order, unless refusal to take this action appears to the court inconsistent with substantial justice.
An error which does not prejudice a party, therefore, is not ground for reversal. An error is prejudicial when it affects the substantial rights of the party. Ilins v. Burns, 388 Mich 504, 510-511; 201 NW2d 624 (1972); Swartz v. Dow Chemical Co, 414 Mich 433; 326 NW2d 804 (1982).
The burden is on the appellant to show that the error was prejudicial and that the failure to reverse would be inconsistent with substantial justice. Henson v. Veterans Cab Co, 384 Mich 486, 494; 185 NW2d 383 (1971).