BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A class-action lawsuit filed by a coalition of Marylanders seeking unemployment benefits for those who haven’t received them has been thrown out.
In July, the Unemployed Workers Union sued the Maryland Department of Labor, saying out-of-work residents did not receive unemployment benefits they were due. The state challenged the complaint, saying most unemployment claims were paid, and filed a motion to dismiss last week. A judge granted that motion Tuesday.READ MORE: Unemployed Workers Union Continue Push For Unpaid Benefits
In handing down his ruling, Baltimore City Circuit Judge John Nugent determined that Maryland’s labor code allows residents to file appeals when they’re denied unemployment benefits, and only after that process is completed can they go to court over it.
The Maryland General Assembly “detailed specific procedures for which applicants for unemployed insurance benefits could seek review of the Department’s actions,” Judge Nugent wrote. “There is no evidence that the General Assembly intended to provide private remedies to unemployed workers.”
In response, the Unemployed Workers Union (UWU) said it strongly disagreed with the judge’s ruling and vowed to carry on its fight.READ MORE: Unemployed Workers Union Files Class Action Lawsuit In Hopes That A Federal Judge Will Reinstate Enhanced Benefits
“The Department of Labor’s refusal to distribute already paid for federal benefits is an absolute disgrace,” the coalition said in part. “While the State of Maryland pays hundreds of thousands of dollars to defeat our lawsuit, people continue to lose their homes, cars and possessions. Families have been made bankrupt and left without food and necessities.”
The group said it is reviewing available legal strategies and plans to keep up its protests. Attorney Alec Summerfield, who represents the UWU, said previously the union would file an appeal if the case were dismissed.
“We will take our fight to the ‘Court of the people” and we will win there!” the coalition said.MORE NEWS: Unemployed Workers Union File Class Action Lawsuit To Prevent End Of Federal Benefits