Revised lawsuit filed over state jobless issues

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NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

Plaintiffs’ attorneys have filed a revised class-action lawsuit against the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and Deloitte Consulting LLP, seeking damages because of major problems with the state’s unemployment-compensation system during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The revised lawsuit, filed late Monday in Leon County circuit court, came after Circuit Judge John Cooper dismissed an earlier version in September.

The amended complaint makes a series of allegations and contends, in part, that the department and Deloitte were negligent and breached a fiduciary duty to the plaintiffs, who lost their jobs during the pandemic and faced problems getting unemployment benefits.

CONNECT issues

The department administers the unemployment program, while Deloitte was a contractor that helped put in place the CONNECT online system, which could not handle the crush of unemployment applications this spring.

“As a direct and proximate result of the … unlawful acts and omissions of the defendants, plaintiffs have sustained economic damages including, but not limited to, lost income and also have sustained noneconomic damages including, but not limited to, emotional pain, anguish, humiliation, insult, indignity, loss of self-esteem, inconvenience and hurt and are therefore entitled to compensatory damages,” the revised lawsuit said.

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