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Class Action Settlement Approved by Court of Claims in Bauserman v. State of Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency
January 30, 2024
LANSING – Yesterday, the Michigan Court of Claims granted final approval of the Class Action Settlement in Bauserman v. State of Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency, announced Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, the Unemployment Insurance Agency, and the law firm of Pitt, McGehee, Palmer, Bonanni & Rivers.
On October 20, 2022, the Attorney General and the law firm of Pitt, McGehee, Palmer, Bonanni & Rivers announced that they had reached a $20 million settlement and the parties submitted preliminary settlement documents to the Court. The Court granted preliminary approval of the settlement and scheduled the matter for a fairness hearing.
Yesterday the Court conducted a fairness hearing. After reviewing the pleadings and exhibits and conducting the fairness hearing, the Court concluded that the $20 million settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate, and in the best interests of the Settlement Class Members. The Court then signed an Order Granting Final Approval of the Class Action Settlement. Economic and hardship payments can now be made to the Settlement Class Members, and this will occur in the first quarter of 2024.
“I am grateful to the court for providing final approval of the Class Action Settlement, which my department and the parties have worked for years to secure,” said Nessel. “The Settlement Class Members are now able to begin receiving their monetary relief.”
“The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency welcomes the approval of the Bauserman class action lawsuit settlement,” said UIA Director Julia Dale. “The lawsuit pointed out the limitations of our existing computer system, which was implemented in 2010 and does not meet the expectations or needs of today’s users. A replacement is on the way with the UIA’s design of a brand-new computer system to replace the older MiWAM technology. The new system is expected to be fully functional in 2025 using plain language and intuitive, user-friendly design and will allow for quick updates in response to changing user demands and economic conditions.”
“Class counsel, law firm staff, and our claims administrator worked tirelessly for more than a year to make sure every claimant was heard and properly compensated for the harm caused by the use of algorithms instead of people to adjudicate unemployment claims,” said Attorney Michael Pitt. “I am proud of my firm’s work, and we all rejoice that this sad chapter in Michigan’s history is behind us.”