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Consumer Fraud Archives

Philadelphia Woman Files Class-Action Lawsuit Against Angie's List

Consumers know that one of the great things about the Internet is being able to research products and services before you buy them. Often an important part of that process is looking at what other consumers have said after making the purchase. Ratings and opinions can vary widely, but it is still possible to get a reasonably clear idea of a product based on how consumers' descriptions of it fit or don't fit with your specific needs.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to Review Credit Card Industry

As mandated by the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act ("CARD"), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ("CFPB" or the "Bureau") will be performing a review of the credit card industry this year. The CARD Act of 2009, passed after the Great Recession to improve consumers' experiences with the credit card industry, requires the CFPB to do such a review of the industry once every two years. To begin the process of assembling the 2015 report, the CFPB has reached out to credit card customers of various companies to accumulate data for its report. The Bureau is focusing its research on the terms of credit card agreements, fees, costs to the companies, and the efficacy of the disclosure of said fees and costs.1

Hidden 'resort fees' the target of class-action lawsuit

In 2012 the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) notified 22 hotel companies that their websites "may violate the law by providing a deceptively low estimate of what consumers can expect to pay for their hotel rooms." The notification relates to undisclosed "resort fees," which were not being disclosed to consumers when their rooms were booked online.

Customers File Class-Action Suit Against Anthem Over Data Breach

News stories about large-scale hacking operations are becoming so numerous that the term "data breach" is now a regular part of the American lexicon. In the past couple years, retailers like Target and Home Depot have allowed hackers to obtain credit card numbers and other sensitive data from millions of customers.

Stage may be set for gov't victory in S&P consumer fraud case

Whether it might come in the next few days or next few months isn't clear, but according to unnamed sources cited by The New York Times it's looking like a major consumer fraud case against bond rating giant Standard & Poor's may be in the offing.

Class actions continue to mount against Uber

The app-based transportation network Uber continues to face legal troubles, as three lawsuits have been brought in the last month on behalf of Uber passengers. The San Francisco-based company is also facing a class action lawsuit in which a class of drivers says the company failed to pay them as employees. Jillian Boyce, of Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah, discussed the drivers' lawsuit in a previous post.

DOJ Continues to Pursue Medicare and Medicaid Fraud

The United States Department of Justice ("DOJ") has brought another claim of Medicare fraud under the U.S. False Claims Acts. The DOJ has accused Creekside Hospice II, LLC in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Skilled Healthcare in Foothill Ranch, California, of treating non-terminally ill patients in order to gain excessive reimbursements from Medicare and Medicaid. Creekside and Skilled Healthcare are subsidiaries of Delaware corporation, SKG.1 Acting Assistant Attorney General Joyce Branda said companies often abuse Medicare's hospice system and that "[t]he department will take swift action to protect taxpayer dollars and make sure that Medicare benefits are available to those who truly need them."2

Consumer fraud suit says deodorants mislabeled as 'unscented'

In October we discussed a New Jersey bill that, if passed into law, would reduce penalties for some companies that commit technical violations of the state's Consumer Fraud Act. One aspect of the bill, which you can read more about in our previous post, allows companies to avoid having to pay plaintiffs' legal fees and other costs if the violation in question did not result in loss to the consumer.

District Court Judge Okays Statistical Sampling in FCA Case; Life Care Centers Appeals

In United States ex rel. Glenda Martin and ex rel. Tammie Taylor v. Life Care Centers of America (2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142660), Federal Judge Harry Mattice of the Eastern District of Tennessee found that the Government is permitted to extrapolate from a sample of fraudulent claims to attempt to show larger liability under the False Claims Act ("FCA"). The United States argued that the history and purpose of the FCA support the use of statistical sampling in attempting to prove that an entity is defrauding the Government. Life Care Centers of America ("LCCA"), based in Cleveland, Tennessee, is now appealing to the Sixth Circuit, arguing that statistical sampling cannot satisfy the Government's burden of proof and that its due process rights are negatively affected by such statistical extrapolation.1