Class-action lawsuit against state over unemployment tossed out

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Circuit Court Judge Angela Dempsey has denied a writ of mandamus in a class-action lawsuit that sought to give the state 24-hours to fix its unemployment system or pay all outstanding unemployment claims, then go after fraud later.

The judge said Wednesday she didn’t under state statue have the authority to force the state to move faster.


“We all want these claims to be resolved efficiently and we all feel bad for these folks that are having to wait, but I’m bound by the law of mandamus and the law as it is written in Chapter 443,” said Judge Dempsey, referring to the chapter of the Florida statutes that deals with Reemployment Assistance. “I just think it is clear from the statute and the record that there is not a ministerial duty, a ministerial duty is one where there is no room for exercise of discretion, and there is clearly a lot of discretion in Chapter 443.”

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While the attorneys behind the lawsuit vowed to fight on, another attorney was taking to Twitter to offer his help in another way.

“Right now our unemployment system is broken because we have a computer system that was broken day one,” said Orlando attorney John Morgan in a video message about the CONNECT unemployment website. “It was bought for 77 million dollars by Rick Scott, here is my offer to Florida, Governor DeSantis turn me and my business trial group loose and we will recover that money for the state of Florida, and you know what I’ll charge you for this, zero.”

So far Morgan’s offer has not been accepted by the state.