From the Detroit Free Press

LANSING — The Michigan Court of Appeals on Tuesday dismissed a class-action brought by unemployment insurance claimants falsely accused of fraud by a state computer system, saying the lawsuit was filed too late.

The state has acknowledged that at least 20,000 Michigan residents — and possibly as many as 40,000 — were wrongly accused of fraud by a $47-million state computer system that the state operated without human supervision and with an error rate as high as 93%.

Those wrongly accused of fraud through robo-adjudications by the Michigan Integrated Data Automated System (MiDAS) were subjected to highest-in-the-nation quadruple penalties and many were subjected to aggressive collection techniques such as wage garnishment and seizure of income tax refunds.

Dismissal of the suit on a legal technicality — how soon after the alleged harm the lawsuit was filed — will be appealed to the Michigan Supreme Court, said Royal Oak attorney Jennifer Lord, who said the ruling is “incredible,” and “based on circular logic.”

 The unanimous opinion by a three-judge panel of the Michigan Court of Appeals reversed a March 2016 ruling by Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens, who said the lawsuit, filed in September 2015, could proceed.

“We’re really disappointed, but we’ve always planned on taking this as far as we need to, no matter how long it takes,” Lord told the Free Press.

Read the entire Free Press story here. 

Other Coverage:

Detroit News (“Appeals Court Rejects Suit Over False Fraud Scandal”)
Fox 17 News/West Michigan (“Appeals Court Tosses Suit in Jobless Benefits Fraud Case”)
U.S. News & World Report (“Appeals Court Tosses Suit in Jobless Benefits Fraud Case”)
Michigan Radio (“Court: People Wrongfully Accused of Unemployment Fraud Filed Too Late”)