Judge won't dismiss lawsuit over Michigan jobless aid controversy

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By: Associated Press

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A lawsuit can go forward against a state agency over a computer system that claimed thousands of people had illegally obtained jobless benefits.

Judge Cynthia Stephens of the Michigan Court of Claims turned down the state’s request to dismiss the case. She doesn’t agree with the Unemployment Insurance Agency, which says the case is moot because people who may have unfairly lost money have recovered it.

In a decision Tuesday, Stephens says denying benefits even temporarily can have serious consequences.

Jennifer Lord, an attorney who filed the lawsuit, says she’ll now gather more evidence for the class-action case. She says she’s thrilled that people wrongly accused of fraud won’t be forgotten.

Ken Silfven, a spokesman for the unemployment agency, says the decision is being reviewed.