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.
Robin Wagner was one of 30 attorneys selected by Michigan Lawyers Weekly for its 2019 Up and Coming Lawyers professional recognition. The honorees are attorneys in their first decade of practice who are having a significant impact and...
Legal News has published an announcement regarding Megan Bonanni's election as a Fellow to the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. Read full article here
Jennifer Lord was quoted by Legal News in coverage of her recent presentation at the"Litigating Algorithms" conference sponsored by AI Now Institute at NYU Law School.
Jennifer Lord was cited by Michigan Lawyers Weekly in an article on the problematic use of automation by public agencies to manage various benefits and welfare programs.
Lansing State Journal -- "Settlement Reached in Case of Lansing Teacher who Physically Abused Special Needs Student"
The Lansing State Journal reported on the settlement of a case involving a male student who was physically abused by a public school teacher. The teenaged student is represented by Megan Bonanni
East Village Magazine -- "Water Class Action Attorneys Detail Progress of Civil Cases; Not All Satisfied"
Julie Hurwitz, Ted Leopold, and Mike Pitt were quoted in East Village Magazine's coverage of the June 27 Flint Water Crisis town hall meeting and community update. Read the full article here
Four former leadership-level employees say Ford Motor Co. deprived them of retirement benefits by firing them during a sweeping global restructuring in May based on their age and how close they are to obtaining full pensions. Read full article
Remarks by Trachelle Young and Michael Pitt were featured in WNEM/NBC coverage of June 27 Flint Town Hall
WNEM/NBC/Flint-Saginaw -- "Town Hall to Update Flint Families About Civil Lawsuits"/3:19
Law360 reported on the transfer of proposed class action suit against General Motors from Florida to Michigan, citing PMPR as counsel for plaintiffs. Click here to read article
The media outlets below aired and published coverage of counsel's letter to Michigan Auditor General requesting an investigation of the Nassar Survivor Compensation Fund: WILX -- "'Wave 2' Nassar Survivors Want Investigation Into...
Michael Pitt was quoted by Detroit Free Press and Lansing State Journal as their coverage of the Coalition of Counsel's letter to Michigan's Auditor General requesting an investigation of irregularities in the Nassar Survivor...
Michael Pitt has been named to the Michigan Lawyers Weekly Hall of Fame - Class of 2019
Law360 published an article on last week's U.S. District Court ruling in Burgess vs. USA case
Read The Hills article on last week's U.S. District Court ruling in Burgess vs. USA case here.
The Detroit News published an editorial in today's edition summarized and supported the Michigan Supreme Court's decision in Bauserman vs. UIA
Ted Leopold and Michael Pitt were quoted in a Detroit News story examining U.S. District Judge Judith Levy's opinion in Flint Water Crisis-related lawsuit
In a recent interview aired on WDET/NPR, Michael Pitt explained and commented on hundreds of lawsuits being filed by visually-impaired persons against companies with inaccessible public websites. The lawsuits claim the websites are in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
WDIV/NBC/Detroit -- "Taylor City Council Wants Answers After Treasurer Claims Disability, Works from Home"/2:56
WDIV reported on Ed Bourassa and his lawsuit in late February. Beginning at 1:53 of story, the reporter (Rod Meloni) cites details from the lawsuit multiple times and makes apparent reference to Mike Pitt as Bourassa's "tough lawyer:"
Congratulations to Cary McGehee, who was named to Michigan Lawyers Weekly Leaders in the Law -- Class of 2019 The honorees have made outstanding contributions to the practice of law in Michigan and set an example for other lawyers. The...
Michael Pitt and Peggy Goldberg Pitt -- and their good works -- were profiled in the "Citizen Lawyer" feature published in February 2019 issue of Michigan Bar Journal