DETROIT (AP) – Thousands of people wrongly accused of fraud when seeking unemployment benefits can seek financial penalties from the state.

That’s the opinion of the Michigan Supreme Court in a major decision out Tuesday.

The court broke new ground when someone claims their constitutional rights have been violated by the state. During the Snyder administration, a computer system spit out fraud claims against thousands of people who were wrongly accused of cheating to get jobless aid.

The Unemployment Insurance Agency finally acknowledged widespread errors affecting more than 40,000 people.

Some victims had to hire lawyers to fight the false findings. Others filed for bankruptcy, lost wages, suffered poor credit ratings or had trouble finding a job and housing.