Michigan Cases About Default Judgment

In Michigan, it is an established principle that "a default settles the question of liability as to well-pleaded allegations and precludes the defaulting party from litigating that issue." Wood v. DAIIE, 413 Mich. 573, 578; 321 N.W.2d 653 (1982); See also American Central Corp v. Stevens Van Lines, Inc, 103 Mich. App. 507, 512; 303 N.W.2d 234 (1981) ("Entry of a default is equivalent to an admission by the defaulting party as to all well-pleaded allegations."). In other words, where a trial court has entered a default judgment against a defendant, the defendant's liability is admitted and the defendant is estopped from litigating issues of liability. However, a default judgment is not an admission regarding damages. See Midwest Mental Health Clinic, PC v. Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Michigan, 119 Mich. App. 671, 675; 326 N.W.2d 599 (1982) ("While the question of a defendant's liability is cemented by a default, a defendant has a right to participate where further proceedings are necessary to determine the amount of damages.").