Appeals court tosses suit in jobless benefits fraud case

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – The Michigan appeals court has tossed a class-action lawsuit filed by people who were falsely accused of defrauding the unemployment benefits system by an automated computer program.

A panel ruled 3-0 Tuesday that the three plaintiffs waited too long to sue, reversing the state Court of Claims.

The case centers on whether the men were hurt when the Unemployment Insurance Agency incorrectly notified them of the fraud findings or when the state intercepted their tax refunds, garnished wages and forced repayment of unemployment benefits. Judges Michael Gadola, Patrick Meter and Karen Fort Hood said the trial court “did not properly consider when plaintiffs were harmed,” and the clock began ticking when they received notice of the fraud determinations.

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