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Consumer Fraud 441 articles

Investment and securities fraud is one area of consumer fraud litigation pursued by the attorneys at Beasley Allen. Litigation includes individual cases as well as class actions that have been filed throughout the country. Cases in this area also involve matters including wrongful conduct of insurance and finance companies including fraud and bad faith, mortgage loan fraud, general consumer fraud and employment issues. Pending cases include securities and investment fraud litigation against companies including Stanford Securities and Regions Morgan Keegan, among others.

Our firm also is representing people who have been taken advantage of in the workplace, through violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). In these cases, employers intentionally misclassify employees as independent contractors or managers in order to reduce costs such as overtime compensation, employee benefits, payroll taxes, unemployment compensation and workers compensation.

Senate bill seeks to create whistleblower program for auto industry

whistleblower

A bill that could encourage whistleblowers within the auto industry to report safety problems that automakers may try to hide from U.S. consumers and safety regulators was introduced last week by Senators John Thune (R-S.D.) and Bill Nelson (D-Fla). If passed, the Thune-Nelson Motor Vehicle Safety Whistleblower Act would give the secretary of transportation the authority to award whistleblowers up to 30 percent of the total fines automakers must pay for violating federal safety regulations. Under the provisions of the proposed whistleblower program, employees and contractors of auto manufacturers, part suppliers, and dealerships would be eligible for the whistleblower reward ... Read More

Tennessee home health care company settles whistleblower allegations for $25 million

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A Nashville, Tenn.-based home health care company and its affiliates have agreed to pay $25 million plus interest to settle whistleblower allegations that they violated the federal False Claims Act by submitting bills to Medicare and Medicaid that were wrongly coded and false in a scheme to boost profits. According to the U.S. Justice Department, CareAll Management LLC, one of Tennessee’s largest home health care providers, routinely overstated the severity of patients’ conditions to increase its billings. The company also billed Medicare and Medicaid for medically unnecessary services, often treating patients who were not homebound, federal prosecutors said. The alleged ... Read More

Medical device maker to pay U.S. $4.9 million in whistleblower kickback case

whistleblower

Biotronik Inc., an Oregon-based medical device manufacturer, has agreed to pay $4.9 million to resolve allegations made by a whistleblower under the False Claims Act that the company violated federal anti-kickback laws by paying physicians to use devices that it produced and sold. Former Biotronik employee, Brian Sant, filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the company under the qui tam or “whistleblower” provisions of the False Claims Act, which authorizes private individuals armed with evidence of fraud and other wrongdoing against federal agencies and programs to sue on behalf of the U.S. and share in any recovery. The U.S. Justice Department ... Read More

Whistleblower sues Shire Pharmaceuticals for wrongful termination

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A former employee of Shire Pharmaceuticals is suing the drug company in a Pennsylvania federal court, alleging she was fired in retaliation for voicing concerns over Shire’s inappropriate, off-label marketing of Firazyr, a costly drug approved for the treatment of hereditary angioedema, a rare and potentially life-threatening immune disorder that causes swelling of the face, airway, and other parts of the body. Mary Catherin Barry, who worked in Shire’s accounting department from 2006 to 2014, monitored Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements of Firayr. She states in her lawsuit that she noticed a number of patients were using unusually high amounts of the ... Read More

Florida shipyard company settles whistleblower allegations for $1 million

whistleblower

A Florida shipyard company that allegedly created a front company so that it could win government contracts designated for disabled veteran-owned companies has agreed to pay the U.S. $1 million to settle a complaint brought against it by two whistleblowers under the False Claims Act. According to the U.S. Justice Department, Jacksonville-based North Florida Shipyards and its president, Matt Self, established a company called Ind-Mar Services Inc. “merely as a contracting vehicle” to wrongfully secure government contracts to repair five Coast Guard ships. Such contracts are intended for companies owned by veterans disabled in the line of duty. To qualify ... Read More

Hospital conglomerate settles whistleblower’s False Claims Act lawsuit for $37 million

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San Francisco-based Dignity Health, one of the five largest hospital systems in the U.S., has agreed to pay $37 million to settle allegations stemming from a whistleblower complaint that more than a dozen of its hospitals intentionally submitted false claims to Medicare and other federal health care programs by routinely admitting patients who could have been treated on a more appropriate and less costly outpatient basis. Dignity Health, formerly Catholic Healthcare West, operates 39 hospitals in California, Nevada, and Arizona. Kathleen Hawkins, a former employee of the hospital chain, filed a lawsuit against the company in a California federal court ... Read More

Americans’ Top Crime Worry: Credit-Card Hacking

Target

According to a Gallup survey released this month, Americans fear credit-card hacking more than any other crime, including violent crimes. As more information is released about cyber breaches in major retail organizations across the country, American consumer anxiety rises about the crime that is affecting tens of millions of customers. According to the surveys, 69 percent of Americans now frequently or occasionally worry about their credit card information being hacked from stores. The Gallup research group was asked about other crimes such as home burglary, school violence, mugging, terrorism, sexual assault, and murder, yet still chose credit-card hacking as their ... Read More

Medical device manufacturer Biomet settles whistleblower case for $6 million

whistleblower

EBI LLC, a medical device manufacturer doing business as Biomet Inc. and Biomet Spine and Bone Healing Technologies, has agreed to pay the U.S. more than $6 million to resolve whistleblower allegations that it paid illegal kickbacks to boost sales of its devices and billed government health care programs for refurbished devices in violation of the U.S. False Claims Act. EBI, based in Parsippany, N.J., makes and sells bone growth stimulators, which are used to repair bone fractures that are slow to heal. The company is a subsidiary of Warsaw, Ind.-based Biomet. The $6.07-million settlement resolves in part allegations made ... Read More

Korean automaker Hyundai, Kia agrees to record U.S. settlement for mileage fraud

Hyundai

Hyundai Motor Co. and its affiliate Kia Motors Corp. has agreed to a $350 million settlement with the U.S. government related to charges the Korean automaker overstated the fuel efficiency of its vehicles. The settlement is being touted by government officials as the largest of its kind. The settlement comes after an investigation determined Hyundai-Kia had overstated the mileage figures on an estimated 1.2 million of its 2012 model vehicles. This latest settlement compensates the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Department of Justice, and the California Air Resources Board. The penalties were levied under the Clean Air Act. In ... Read More

FTC sues Gerber for falsely advertising Good Start Gentle baby formula

baby with bottle - FDA image

Federal regulators are challenging well-known baby food maker Gerber on claims that its Good Start Gentle infant formula can prevent or reduce allergies. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced it was suing Gerber to make the company remove the claims from its formula labels and advertisements. The FTC alleged that by making the claims the company was misleading consumers by suggesting its formula was the first to meet government approval for reducing the risk of allergies. According to the lawsuit, Gerber petitioned the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2009 to link its use of hydrolyzed whey proteins to reducing ... Read More