From Michigan Lawyers Weekly A bill awaiting action in the U.S. Senate could bring several changes to class action lawsuits nationwide. The "Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act of 2017" was introduced Feb. 9 by Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R Virginia, and it passed the U.S. House of Representatives March 9 by a 220 -201 vote. A summary of the bill on the official Congress website highlights three key changes that would impact class action litigation. The top change listed states that in a class action seeking monetary relief for personal injury or economic loss, each proposed class member suffered the same type and scope of injury as the named class representatives. The bill states that it aims to limit attorneys' fees to a reasonable percentage of any payments received by class members and the value of any equitable relief. It also states that no attorneys' fees based on monetary relief may be paid until distribution of the monetary recovery to class members has been completed, or exceed the total amount distributed to and received by all class members. Plaintiffs' concerns Michael L. Pitt, managing partner of Pitt McGehee Palmer & Rivers in Royal Oak, has worked on many class action suits from the plaintiff's side. Pitt has expressed numerous concerns about the bill and its potential impact on future class action litigation. "The changes are significant and they really would have the effect of cutting out class action as an effective method of seeking redress for many sectors of our society where claims for personal injury or property damage are asserted," Pitt said. Pitt has been working on the Flint water case, and pointed to it as an example of individuals in a class action lawsuit who have suffered different injuries. "We have people in the same household who are class members, children who have been exposed to lead in the water have suffered serious damage as a result of lead poisoning. We have adults who have developed neurological disorders. You have a mom and dad who own the house, their property value has plummeted, you have property damage, the corrosive water has damaged interior plumbing and in some cases, exterior service lines, those need to be replaced," Pitt said. "This hypothetical family would not be able to participate in the same class action because they don't have the same type and scope of injury." Pitt said that the bill would result in a decreased desire to pursue class action because of the increase in delays sparked by the new legislation. "What I see here is the amount of delay that's built into class action litigation will frustrate many plaintiffs' lawyers and many plaintiffs in pursuing class actions because any time there's a ruling the defendants don't like, they have a way to stay the proceeding and drag it out endlessly," Pitt said. You can read the entire Michigan Lawyers Weekly article here.
Michael Pitt was quoted in MIRS News coverage of the increasing volume of civil lawsuits being filed in Michigan and throughout the U.S. which are related to the COVID-19 pandemic: Read full article here.
Cary McGehee was quoted in Detroit News coverage of a federal court hearing relating to a class action lawsuit filed by prisoners held at the Oakland County Jail. The prisoners have alleged they are not being provided adequate protection from the...
Kevin Carlson was quoted in Detroit News coverage of a federal court hearing in the matter of a class action suit filed by prisoners in the Oakland County Jail. The lawsuit alleges that the facility is not providing adequate social distancing nor...
Jennifer Lord was cited in a WXYZ News investigative report on continuing problems with customer service and technology at the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency, as the COVID-19 pandemic has increased unemployment rolls and severely taxed the...
Civil Rights Organizations Sue Oakland County Jail For Immediate Release of Vulnerable People Ahead of Deadly COVID-19 Spread
Advocates warn outbreak is imminent inside county jail Oakland County, MI – Today several civil rights and racial justice groups filed a federal lawsuit calling for the release of medically vulnerable people inside the Oakland County Jail,...
Peoples’ lives have had to change due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Companies across the world and country have had to shut their doors, reduce services, change services, switch to remote work, and make various other changes. You may...
Michigan Radio/NPR -- "As 6th Anniversary of Flint Water Switch Approaches, Legal Wrangling Drags On"
Michael Pitt was cited in Michigan Radio/NPR coverage marking the 6th anniversary since the drinking water switch was made in Flint: Read here.
Cary McGehee was quoted by the Detroit News in a report on a temporary restraining order issued by U.S. District Judge Linda Parker requiring Oakland County Jail to take certain steps to protect inmates from the COVID-19 virus: Read here
WDIV/NBC -- "Civil Rights Groups Sue Oakland County Jail for Immediate Release of People During Pandemic"
Pitt McGehee was cited by WDIV/NBC as one of the law firms filing suit on behalf of medically-vulnerable people at Oakland County Jail seeking immediate release due to the risk posed by the COVID-19 pandemic: Read here
Robin Wagner was quoted in a report published in The Macomb Daily regarding the sexual discrimination lawsuit recently filed by the firm on behalf of female emergency dispatchers at the Warren Police Department: Read here.
Legal News -- "A Safety Net: Civil Rights Attorney Sees Need to 'Pull Together' in Response to Crisis"
Legal News has published (April 6, 2020) an interview with Cary McGehee covering a range of COVID-19 pandemic-related issues: Read here.
Cary McGehee was cited in a Michigan Lawyers Weekly (April 2, 2020) feature article examining sexual harassment in the workplace in the #metoo/post-Weinstein era: Read here.
Jennifer Lord and Tony Paris (Sugar Law Center) were cited in a lengthy (1320 words) Michigan Lawyers Weekly summary of the Bauserman vs. UIA and Cahoo vs. FAST Enterprises class actions filed against the Michigan Unemployment Agency after a...
The State of Michigan agreed to a settlement in the John Doe(s) vs. Michigan Department of Corrections
"The State of Michigan has agreed to a settlement in the John Doe(s) vs. Michigan Department of Corrections case. Pitt McGehee attorneys are part of the legal team representing the plaintiffs who alleged they were sexually abused by adult...
Congratulations to Beth Rivers, who has been named to Michigan Lawyers Weekly "Leaders in the Law Class of 2020:"
Michigan Lawyers Weekly -- MiLW Names Leaders in the Law Class of 2020 Read here
Detroit Free Press, The Michigan Times, Michigan Radio and WNEM-TV have reported on the lawsuit(s) filed by Megan Bonanni and Robin Wagner on behalf of former UM Flint Administrator Heather Johnson: Detroit Free Press -- "She Says...
Detroit Free Press, The Michigan Times, Michigan Radio and WNEM-TV have reported on the lawsuit(s) filed by Megan Bonanni and Robin Wagner on behalf of former UM Flint Administrator Heather Johnson
Detroit Free Press -- "She Says UM Flint Fired Her for Pushing for LGBQTA Resources" https://bit.ly/38zcYge The Michigan Times (UM Flint Campus Newspaper) -- "Former CGS Director Files Lawsuit Against University, Chancellor and...
Michigan Radio/NPR -- "Attorneys in Unemployment Fraud Cases Join Forces, Call for State Review of AI in Government"
Carmelita C0lvin, Christian Sandvig, Jennifer Lord and Kevin Carlson were cited in coverage of yesterday's media announcement by Michigan Radio/NPR Read the full article here.
FOX 2 News/Detroit -- "Attorneys in Unemployment Fraud Cases Join Forces, Call for State Review of AI in Government"/1:42
Kevin Carlson, Jennifer Lord, Tony Paris and Christian Sandvig were featured in FOX 2 News coverage of yesterday's announcement from Bauserman and Cahoo legal teams:
Jennifer Lord was quoted in FOX 17/West Michigan coverage of media announcement from Bauserman and Cahoo legal teams Read the full article here