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Michigan NewsOver 3,000 Michigan residents had money and property wrongly seized. Now the...

Over 3,000 Michigan residents had money and property wrongly seized. Now the state will pay more than $1,500 to each of them on average.

Michigan – Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency wrongfully accused thousands of Michigan residents of unemployment insurance fraud and seized money, property and other assets from them. If everything goes as planned and judge gives the final “ok” later this month, about 3,000 of them will each get $1,600 on average in a settlement in a class-action lawsuit.

The case is known as Bauserman v. Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency

The latest update in a legal case, known as Bauserman v. Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency, is that the court is about to give the final okay to a settlement. This case started in 2015 when around 40,000 people in Michigan were falsely accused of fraud by a state-run computer system. This system made mistakes 93% of the time and didn’t have humans checking its work.

Now, after nearly 10 years, about 3,200 of these wrongly accused folks might soon get their share of a $20 million settlement. This settlement got the green light from Michigan’s Court of Claims almost a year ago.

The lawyers representing these people, from the firm Pitt, McGehee, Palmer, Bonanni and Rivers, along with Michigan’s Attorney General, have contacted over 8,000 people who are part of this lawsuit.

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Michigan Supreme Court decided that not all 40,000 can file lawsuit

Not all 40,000 people affected were part of the lawsuit because the Michigan Supreme Court decided only certain people could sue. This decision was based on when the damage was caused, explained Jennifer Lord, a lawyer at Pitt, McGehee, Palmer, Bonanni and Rivers, when the settlement was agreed upon.

Bauserman v. Michigan's Unemployment Insurance Agency: Over 3,000 Michigan residents to get $1,500 each on average

The problem started with Michigan’s $47 million computer system, MiDAS, set up by former Governor Rick Snyder. This system wrongfully accused people of fraud, leading to huge fines, aggressive ways of getting money like taking parts of wages and tax refunds, and in some cases, people went bankrupt. Because of these issues, several lawsuits were filed against Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency.

In the end, 3,206 people signed up for the settlement, and 968 of them will get extra money from a “Hardship Fund,” averaging about $4,150 each if the settlement goes through.

The lawyers who represented these people are asking for $6.6 million for their work.

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A fairness hearing, where class members will have an opportunity to voice their support or opposition of the proposed settlement, is scheduled for Jan. 29 in the Michigan Court of Claims.