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Crain's Interviews Lord in UIA Review Story

From Crain's Detroit Weekly January 6, 2017 LANSING --- The state's embattled unemployment agency said Friday it will review all computer-identified claims of benefits fraud --- more than 30,000 --- that until now have not been re-examined after criticism from state auditors and a Michigan congressman that the practice was highly inaccurate. The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency said the fraud findings occurred from 2013 to 2015, when it launched an automated system to determine fraudulent claims. The agency hasn't relied solely on a computer system to identify possible fraud cases since August 2015, and now includes staff members in the review process. Jennifer Lord, an attorney with Pitt, McGehee, Palmer & Rivers PC in Royal Oak and the lead attorney said she wants the state to freeze any action that might take money out of the so-called "contingent fund" that includes unemployment funds and put it into the state's general fund until the agency knows for certain whether there are more false allegations of fraud. Senate Bill 1008, which would approve that transfer, is pending on Snyder's desk. Snyder spokeswoman Anna Heaton said the governor has not yet completed a full review of the bill. Lord contends the funds don't belong to state taxpayers and should not be used to balance the budget. She said she is awaiting a date for oral arguments in the Court of Appeals related to a pending class-action lawsuit that could include an estimated 60,000 plaintiffs. The case originated in the Michigan Court of Claims. "I hope it's a step in the right direction," Lord said of Stokes' restructuring plan. "There are clearly still massive, massive problems at the agency." You can read the entire Crain's Detroit Business Story here.

M. Pitt Cited in MLive Report on Midland Area Couple's Claim Filed Against the Federal Energy Resource Commission in Edenville Dam Collapse

Michael Pitt was quoted in MLive coverage of the claim filed against the Federal Energy Commission by a Midland Couple for property and personal damages caused by flooding after the collapse of the Edenville Dam in May 2020. The firm is representing Dan and Cathy Miller and filed a $1.25 million claim under the Federal Tort Claims Act. Read entire article here.

Midland Daily News -- "Lawsuit Blames State Agencies for Dam Failures"

Mike Pitt, Ted Leopold and Paul Stephen were referenced as plaintiffs' attorneys in a Midland Daily News report on the lawsuit filed June 25 in the Michigan Court of Claims. The coverage notes that the suit's 15 plaintiffs owned property and homes which were damaged or destroyed in the May 19 Midland area flooding caused by the collapse of the Edenville Dam. Read full article here.