COVID-19 testing kit photo

A high school sports advocacy group and some parents sued Michigan on Thursday, seeking to stop a new requirement that all teen athletes be regularly tested for the coronavirus.

The lawsuit, filed in the state Court of Claims, came on the eve of the mandate’s Friday effective date. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the state health department announced the free, required rapid testing nearly two weeks ago as a way to help curb the spread of COVID-19 amid a climbing case rate that is now the country’s highest.

The Michigan Senate voted along party lines today to authorize a lawsuit against Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

The Senate Republican majority OK’d a potential challenge to Whitmer’s use of line-item vetoes in budget bills. The bills were meant to rein in Whitmer’s use of emergency powers during the COVID-19 crisis. 

Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey said it’s time to let people and businesses make their own decisions on how to be safe during the pandemic.

       “This governor does not trust the citizens of Michigan to do the right thing.”

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services logo

The Michigan health department is being sued over its refusal to release more information about COVID-19 deaths tied to nursing homes.

The Mackinac Center Legal Foundation, which often takes aggressive action to get public records, filed a lawsuit Tuesday on behalf of Detroit journalist Charlie LeDuff, who is seeking ages, dates of death and whether the person became ill at a long-term care facility.

The health department told LeDuff that the information is exempt under the state’s public records law.

Former Governor Rick Snyder outside Genesee County Jail photo
Cody Scanlon / The Flint Journal via AP

Lawyers clashed Tuesday over whether a Flint water indictment against former Gov. Rick Snyder was filed in the wrong county and should be dismissed.

A judge promised to make a decision within seven days.

Snyder is charged with two misdemeanor counts of willful neglect of duty. He’s accused of not properly responding to the controversy about Flint’s water, which was drawn from the Flint River in 2014-15 but not treated to reduce corrosion, despite widespread complaints. Lead leached from old pipes.

Flint Water Tower
Associated Press

Lawyers who negotiated a $641 million settlement for victims of Flint’s lead-contaminated water are asking a judge to set aside up to 32% for fees and expenses for years of work on the case.

If granted, the request would total $202 million in fees and $7 million in expenses for dozens of attorneys who made a deal with the state of Michigan, Flint, a hospital and an engineering firm, according to a court filing Monday.

Basketball referee photo

An athletic advocacy group, hockey league and parents of athletes sued Michigan’s health director on Tuesday, seeking a reversal of 2 1/2-month state ban on contact sports that was issued to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Flint Water Tower
Associated Press

A judge has granted preliminary approval to a $641 million deal that would benefit Flint residents who were harmed by lead-contaminated water. The settlement includes $600 million from the state of Michigan, although Flint, an area hospital and an engineering firm are also part of the agreement. Federal Judge Judith Levy signed off in a 72-page opinion. Her preliminary approval triggers a monthslong process during which Flint residents can object and pursue their own claims. State regulators allowed Flint to use the Flint River in 2014-15 without treating the water to reduce corrosion.

Flint Water Plant tower photo
wiki commons

The Flint City Council in Michigan has signed off on its portion of a $641 million settlement with residents who were exposed to lead-tainted water. Flint's insurer would kick in $20 million as part of a sweeping deal to settle lawsuits against Flint, the state of Michigan and other parties. The Flint council approved its stake early Tuesday after an hourslong meeting that raised concerns about whether residents were getting shortchanged. Most of the money - $600 million - is coming from the state of Michigan.

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services logo
michiganhhs / michiganhhs

A federal judge has refused to block the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ ban on indoor dining.

When the MDHHS issued restrictions on indoor dining two weeks ago designed to slow the surge of COVID-19 cases, the Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association sued the state. It brought four federal claims and a pair of state claims.

“Alleging that the Constitutional rights of restaurant operators have been violated.”

Michael Huff is a corporate attorney with Mika Meyers.

A Detroit-area funeral home has agreed to pay $250,000 to settle a lawsuit that led to a groundbreaking decision that protects gay, lesbian and transgender people from discrimination in employment. Aimee Stephens died weeks before the U.S. Supreme Court in June said was covered by federal civil rights law. The business is paying $130,000 to Stephens' estate, plus $120,000 in legal costs and fees. U.S. District Judge Sean Cox approved the settlement Monday. Stephens worked as an embalmer and funeral home director at R.G. and G.R. Harris Funeral Homes in Garden City.

Judge with gavel photo

A judge on Friday declined to halt a three-week ban on indoor dining in Michigan that is one of the most recent coronavirus restrictions imposed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration.

The state health department, meanwhile, reported a new daily high of confirmed COVID-19 cases, 9,779, and 53 additional deaths as the virus continued to spike.

In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney in Kalamazoo said a restraining order halting the indoor dining ban wouldn’t be appropriate, especially when the state hasn’t had a chance to respond to the lawsuit.

Detroit poll workers photo
Associated Press

An effort to stop the certification of Detroit-area votes from the Nov. 3 election was rejected Monday by the Michigan appeals court.

The court wasn’t convinced that a Wayne County judge made “manifest error” in refusing to stop the work of county canvassers, who must certify the votes this week and notify the state.

The appeal was rejected, 3-0.

Detroit poll workers photo
Associated Press

A judge on Friday refused to stop the certification of Detroit-area election results, rejecting claims that the city had committed fraud and spoiled the count with its handling of absentee ballots.

It’s the third time a judge has refused to intervene in crucial steps that are necessary to bless the broader Michigan totals, which gave Joe Biden a victory over President Donald Trump by more than 140,000 votes.

Detroit poll workers photo
Associated Press

An attorney urged a judge Wednesday to allow Detroit-area election officials to certify the Nov. 3 results, saying any halt would empower the “right-wing fire” trying to cast doubt on the outcome.

A lawsuit claims Republican challengers were removed from the TCF Center in Detroit while absentee ballots were being processed. The court filing also alleges that ballots were backdated, signatures on ballot envelopes weren’t verified and other irregularities.

A Michigan Court of Claims judge has rejected a challenge from President Trump’s campaign to Michigan’s absentee ballot counting process.

The Trump campaign filed a lawsuit that claimed Michigan denied poll challengers sufficient access to watch absentee voting boards at work. But Judge Cynthia Stephens said the Trump campaign failed to show any direct proof of that.

   And Stephens pushed back when a Trump campaign attorney argued otherwise.


   “I heard somebody else say something. Tell me why that’s not hearsay. Come on now.”