Latest Case Updates – 2017
August 29, 2017
For well over a year, state officials knew Michigan’s computer-driven unemployment insurance system had wrongly accused thousands of workers of benefit fraud.
That didn’t stop lawyers for the state from working to derail a class action against the Unemployment Insurance Agency. They’ve succeeded – for now – after the Michigan Court of Appeals dismissed the case in July on a technicality, ruling that workers had waited too long to file their claims.
State lawyers have taken the same hard-line approach against individual workers. In one case, the state spent two years and deployed a team of attorneys to pry back $158 in benefits from a seasonal worker at Bloomfield Hills Country Club named Suzanne Lawrence – only to lose when an appeals court ruled in July there was not “even a scintilla of evidence” she had committed fraud.
August 15, 2017
The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency said it’s working to locate citizens impacted by the fraud fiasco who are owed refunds. Of the $20.8 million in refunds, the state said $2 million have yet to be returned to citizens. Pitt McGehee Palmer & Rivers attorney Jennifer Lord told Michigan Public Radio that the amount is a “drop in the bucket.” Listen to the interview here.
July 18, 2017
The Michigan Court of Appeals dismissed our class-action brought on behalf of unemployment insurance claimants falsely accused of fraud by a state computer system, saying the lawsuit was filed too late. We will appeal this unjust decision and continue to fight for victims of false fraud as long as it takes.
July 9, 2017
The Michigan Court of Appeals heard oral arguments on Friday, July 7 before a packed and overflowing courtroom represented by victims of the false fraud UIA scandal. The Court of Appeals Judge (Michael Godola) indicated they would be issuing a written order soon, which would either affirm the Court of Claims denial of the State’s motion to dismiss (a win for us) or overrule. As part of any order whether the court affirms or overrules, they will then do a legal analysis as promptly as possible.
We are now awaiting this opinion and are cautiously optimistic that we’ll be back before the trial court and moving forward soon.
July 9, 2017
Free Press, News, MLive, Michigan Radio Cover July 7 Hearing
June 17, 2017
May 5, 2017
May 4, 2017
April 19, 2017
Sept. 14, 2015
Class-action lawsuit filed in Michigan Court of Claims against UIA alleging its MiDAS software erroneously flagged thousands of unemployment claims fraudulent or improper, failed to provide notice of allegations and illegally seized tax refunds, garnished wages and imposed huge penalties.
UIA files motion to dismiss lawsuit.
U.S. Dept. of Labor issues memo to state unemployment agencies to protect individual rights of claimants, not make computerized fraud/overpayment determinations without involvement of agency staff.
Former Michigan Compensation Appellate Commissioner Neal Young joins UIA legal team. As commissioner, Young had objected to UIA’s determination of claims by computers.
Michigan HB #4982 introduced requiring UIA employees to review/approve automated fraud findings and notify claimants via e-mail, USPS or other means besides user account.
Plaintiffs file motion for class certification.
Office of Auditor General issues report noting failures of $47 million MiDAS system and UIA’s inability to substantiate over
90 percent of fraud allegations.
Court of Claims hearing set on UIA motion to dismiss class-action lawsuit.
“Despite the state’s many efforts to derail our lawsuit, we continue to seek economic damages and justice for thousands affected by the UIA’s lawless, computerized fraud determinations,” said class counsel Jennifer Lord of Pitt McGehee Palmer & Rivers.
Lord is available to discuss the lawsuit, the state’s response and the experiences of those wrongly accused of fraud by the State of Michigan.
Contact: Pitt McGehee Palmer & Rivers at 248-398-9800
Auditor General’s Report
On December 9, 2015, Class Counsel filed a motion with the court to certify this action as a class action. The Motion, Brief and supporting papers have been posted to this site for your review. On December 23, 2015, the attorneys for UIA filed with the court papers opposing our request for class certification. The court has not scheduled a hearing on this motion.
On December 16, 2015, the attorneys on both sides of this case had a telephone conference with Judge Cynthia Stephens who is charge of this case. She ordered the UIA to provide to class counsel by January 15, 2016 limited discovery in the nature of handbooks, guidelines and other readily available written material designed to inform the reader as to the proper steps to be followed by the UIA in its fraud determination activities and collections. Class counsel will be permitted use this material to file a supplemental brief opposing the UIAs motion to dismiss. Our supplemental brief must be filed by February 16, 2016.
The court has scheduled a hearing in open court on the UIAs motion to dismiss. The hearing will be held in either Lansing or Detroit on March 8, 2016 at 10am. You are welcome to attend. Check this website for the exact location.
Some of this material will be for “attorney eyes” only. Material which can be posted will appear on this website.
Our staff continue to receive information from Michigan citizens who have been harmed by the unconstitutional activities which are the centerpiece of this case. Please call or email us with updates on your situation.
Click on the links below to read the full documents.