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Michigan Supreme Court says victims of jobless benefits system failure can seek damages


A seven-year-old lawsuit against the state over malfunctions in the state's unemployment compensation system will continue. That's under a decision today by the Supreme Court.

The Democratic-nominated justices who make up the court's majority returned the case to the Michigan Court of Claims. The Republican-nominated members dissented. This keeps alive the class-action quest for damages by as many as 40,000 people. They were harmed by a faulty computer system, and the state's efforts that included garnishing wages and tax refunds, or, in some cases, filing criminal charges.

John Philo is with the Sugar Law Center for Economic and Social Justice. "And those folks were absolutely distraught over the consequences of what that brought to their lives," he says.

The lawsuit claims the state violated the due process rights of the claimants.