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.
Beth Rivers Cited in Legal News Article on Recent Court of Appeals Ruling in John Does vs. Michigan Department of Corrections Case
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Michigan Lawyers Weekly reported that Megan Bonanni and Kevin Stoops (of Sommers Schwartz) won a settlement in Macomb County Circuit Court (Mich.) of $482,500 for 132 interstate truck drivers in a breach of contract class action.
Megan Bonanni was cited by MLive in coverage of $388K award to Jackson County art teacher Pennie Davis in whistleblower case
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Michael Pitt was cited in a Feb. 4, 2018 Detroit Free Press/Legal Doctrine of Governmental Immunity in Civil Proceedings
Michael Pitt was cited in a Feb. 4, 2018, Detroit Free Press op-ed on the legal doctrine of governmental immunity in civil proceedings
Michael Pitt was cited by Michigan Radio/NPR in its coverage of the important Michigan Court of Appeals ruling handed-down January 25, 2018. Read more here.
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Michael Pitt was quoted in National Law Journal's coverage of the Michigan Court of Appeals January 25 decision on Flint Class Action
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Jennifer Lord commented on WWJ/CBS Radio 950 about sexual conduct in the workplace for Charlie Langton Briefs: Listen Here
Julie Hurwitz and Paul Novak were cited by Michigan Radio/NPR in coverage of oral arguments regarding Flint water class action in Michigan Court of Appeals: Read More Here
Co-counsel Megan Bonanni and Jennifer MacManus were cited in Livingston Daily's updated coverage of the Taco Bell/Sundance, Inc. FLSA class action. Read More Here
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Pitt McGehee Palmer & Rivers serves as co-counsel in an age discrimination suit against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
Pitt McGehee Palmer & Rivers serves as co-counsel with Akeel & Valentine (Troy, Mich.) representing workers in an age discrimination suit filed against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles last year. Akeel & Valentine partner Shereef Akeel was...