From the Bridge 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. But these aren't the only instances in which Michigan has chosen to fight, rather than make things right, when state government has harmed its citizens. Consider Flint. Government lawyers continue to contest a battery of lawsuits over the state's role in the lead poisoning of Flint's drinking water, a crisis that unfolded in 2014 when the impoverished city was under state control. In he worker fraud litigation, Schuette acknowledged in a recent television appearance "there are obviously problems with the unemployment insurance system," adding: "Most of the time it's better to solve the problem instead of going to court, right? We ought to fix this and solve the problem." Despite getting the fraud class action dismissed, Schuette said lawyers on both sides need to address the merits of each worker's complaint. "Each party on any lawsuit has to sit down and turn off the phones, turn off the mics and try to get down to business," he said. Jennifer Lord, the Royal Oak-based attorney leading the unemployment class-action suit, said it is hard to square Schuette's television remarks with his "hyper technical defenses designed to block the refund and compensation process." "Resolution of (Unemployment Insurance Agency) false fraud scandal this year is in the best interests of the citizens, the agency, the governor and other elected state officials," Lord told Bridge in an email. "Inexplicably, the litigation continues." Read the entire Bridge story here.
*Detroit Free Press -- "Flint Residents Seek to Add Gov. Rick Snyder Back to Water Lawsuit"
Michigan Radio/NPR -- "Flint Residents Seek to Add Gov. Snyder as Defendant in Class Action Lawsuit"
*M. Pitt and T. Leopold were quoted by Michigan Radio in its coverage of the announcement regarding amended complaint in Flint water case:
*T. Leopold was cited by MLive in its coverage of the amended complaint announcement regarding reinstatement of Gov Snyder as a defendant
*WOOD/NBC/Grand Rapids -- "Victims Ask Judge to Reinstate Gov. Snyder in Lawsuit"
WWTV/CBS/Traverse City -- "Gov. Snyder May be Reinstated as Defendant in Flint Water Case"
WJRT/ABC 12/Flint -- "Flint Water Victims Seek to Reinstate Gov. Snyder, Senior State Officials as Defendants"
T. Leopold and M. Pitt were quoted in WJRT/ABC 12 coverage of amended complaint filing announcement
M. Pitt was cited in MLive coverage of Genessee County court proceedings involving firm clients severely injured as bystanders in auto accidents related to dangerous, high-speed vehicle pursuits initiated by Michigan State Police officers
The Oakland Press reported on Mike Pitt's selection to Wayne Law's Alumni Wall of Fame
Jennifer Lord was quoted in Detroit News coverage of upcoming oral arguments in UIA class action
FOX 2 Detroit -- Sept. 9 broadcast of FOX 2's "Let it Rip" program with Jennifer Lord as guest panel member/22:33
September 9 broadcast of FOX 2 Detroit's "Let it Rip" program featured Jennifer Lord on the panel, which discussed the aftermath of the Mario Impemba-Rod Allen broadcast booth brawl and public and business repercussions of Nike's...
Megan Bonanni was quoted in State News (MSU campus/community newspaper) coverage of PMP&R's representation of new Nassar survivors
Megan Bonanni was quoted by Michigan Radio/NPR in its coverage of Nassar survivors and the Sept. 10 filing deadline for claims
Bustle.com -- "The Deadline for These Nassar Victimsto File Lawsuits is Approaching -- Here's What That Means"
Megan Bonanni was quoted by Bustle* in a story on the new Nassar victims and September 10 filing deadline
Megan Bonanni was cited by the Detroit Free Press in coverage of new Nassar victims and September 10 deadline for filing civil suits
Megan Bonanni was cited by MLive in its coverage of legal representation for new Nassar victims and pending deadline for filing civil suits
Michael Pitt discusses his social justice background and motivation in an announcement posted by Public Justice on his selection as its president for a one-year term
M. Pitt was cited by MLive in its coverage of August 1 U.S. District Court ruling on Flint class action
Michigan Radio/NPR -- "Flint Water Class Action Lawsuit Moves Forward, but Gov. Snyder Dropped as Defendant"
Michael Pitt and Ted Leopold were cited by Michigan Radio/NPR in its story on Judge Levy's ruling in the Flint class action:
Mike Pitt and Ted Leopold were quoted in WLUC/NBC/Upper Michigan's coverage of the federal court ruling in the Flint Class Action: