Frequently, people's personal data is stolen through cyber hacking. Within this year alone, we have witnessed data breaches and cyberattacks against a variation of large organizations, including the Office of Policy Management, Anthem BlueCross BlueShield ("Anthem") and the Army National Guard. Consequently, people are reasonably becoming increasingly wary with respect to the security of their personal and financial information. Organizations that collect the personal information of their employees, clients, and customers have an obligation to guard it as well. In fact, there is a putative class action against Anthem for not taking measures to sufficiently protect its clients from a data breach that Anthem suffered in February.
In some regions around the country, a kickback consists of a group of friends winding down and "kicking back" at a casual gathering. However, in the professional and legal arena, a kickback is a form of bribery. The False Claims Act ("FCA") prevents kickbacks in the healthcare industry under the Anti-Kickback Statute, which forbids healthcare facilities from, inter alia, bribing doctors to refer Medicare patients to them. Those practices are illegal because they are prompting the government to spend public funds superfluously solely for the companies' own profit. Furthermore, the qui tam provisions in the FCA provide certain protections and incentives to whistleblowers who file FCA lawsuits against companies and individuals that defraud the government.
A case that has been resolved by a court of law is called a "moot case." Cases can be resolved several ways, one of which includes two parties reaching an agreement through a settlement. The standards for a moot case sound simple enough, but a recent issue brought to the U.S. Supreme Court questions whether a settlement offer that would fulfill all of the plaintiff's demands should also constitute as making the case moot.
Do you take the time to read customer agreements before accepting them? Many, if not most, people do not. And those that do read them, do not likely understand the terms they're agreeing to. For example, many of these agreements have included arbitration clauses that eliminate the customer's right to join a class action suit. The effect of such a clause on consumers can be substantial. If a consumer purchases a faulty product or service and has signed such an agreement, instead of being able to seek relief with a bigger population of consumers with the same or similar grievances (a "class"), individual consumers would have to go through arbitration or file a suit themselves, and on behalf of only themselves. This thought is daunting enough to dissuade many consumers from seeking any recourse when they've been damaged and, even if they choose to push forward, according to a 2015 report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ("CFPB"), consumers who went through individual arbitration or did not fare as well as members of class action lawsuits.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") filed a suit against Spencer Pharmaceutical Inc. ("Spencer") and its director, Jean-Francois Amyot ("Amyot"), for an alleged pump-and-dump scheme.
Imagine that you have just been injured by a product you own. It isn't long after suffering the injury that you learn others have also suffered injuries. Apparently the product has a history of causing injuries but the manufacturer has done little to remedy the issue.
From a very young age, we're all taught important lessons related to being able to discern right from wrong and fair from unfair. We're taught that telling lies, cheating and treating others unfairly is wrong and that, in everything we do, we should consider how our actions affect the lives of others.