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Consumer Fraud 572 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.

Atlanta whistleblowers may get $110 million after DaVita settlement

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An Atlanta doctor and nurse who filed a whistleblower complaint against DaVita Healthcare Partners and helped the U.S. government recover $450 in federal health care funds may receive an award of more than $110 million. Dr. Alon Vainer of Atlanta and nurse Daniel Barbir of Cumming, Ga., both former DaVita employees, filed the whistleblower lawsuit under the federal False Claims Act in 2011, accusing DaVita – the largest provider of kidney dialysis services in the U.S. – of developing a scheme of fraud that led to huge payouts for the company at the taxpayers’ expense. The whistleblowers alleged the Denver, Colo.,-based company ... Read More

The Fraud List: Medtronic Inc. – A Cheating Heart

The Fraud List

Go Medtronic’s website and you’ll see lots of features touting how this Minneapolis-based medical device manufacturer builds communities, gives to people in need, enhances life for people in all reaches of the globe, and other philanthropic achievements. Not as widely advertised is its history of chronic corporate misconduct – a long rap sheet that includes violating government contracts and trade laws, engaging in illegal kickback schemes to boost its sales, and submitting false claims to Medicare and other government health care programs – a scheme that effectively takes money out of taxpayers’ pockets and deposits it into Medtronic’s multi-billion-dollar bank ... Read More

NJ jury finds gay conversion therapy violates consumer fraud laws

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In a landmark decision, a New Jersey jury has found religious organization JONAH (Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing) violated New Jersey consumer fraud laws when it claimed that its gay conversion therapy could turn homosexuals to heterosexuals. The organization’s founder, Arthur Goldberg, and a counselor with the religious group, Alan Downing, were found liable for advertising misrepresentations and unconscionable commercial practices, and five plaintiffs were awarded a total of $72,400 for fees they paid for the treatment as well as mental health counseling one plaintiff had to undergo afterward. The lawsuit was filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center ... Read More

Average data breach costs $3.79 million in 2015 – learn how to protect your network

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Did you know that while data breaches are hard to defend against, they may be even more difficult to afford? A recent study, aptly named the “2015 Cost of Data Breach Study:  Global Analysis,” was conducted by the Ponemon Institute to determine the average cost of a data breach. Sponsored by IBM, the study’s results revealed that average data-breach costs actually increased from $3.52 million in 2014 to $3.79 million this year. Although the change may appear insignificant, data breach costs have actually risen 23 percent since 2013. The most severe financial consequence of a data breach seemed to come as a ... Read More

On-call employment scheduling ended by Victoria’s Secret

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Earlier this month, on-call employment came into question when one Victoria’s Secret employee filed a lawsuit stating that mandatory on-call shifts resulted in wage theft in the retail industry. According to BuzzFeed News, Victoria’s Secret has now put an end to its on-call scheduling practices. On-call employment is a common practice still utilized by many employers, primarily in the retail industry, as a means of ensuring they have backup employees available if needed. However, since employees are required to call in at least two hours before their scheduled shift, and be available between those hours, on-call workers are unable to accurately schedule ... Read More

NYC officials find Whole Foods routinely overcharges its customers

Whole Foods - image by ChadPerez49 via Wikimedia Commons

Whole Foods Market, Inc. has been systemically overcharging customers for pre-packaged foods in all of its New York City retail stores, the city’s Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) announced last week. The DCA said its investigation of the natural food chain remains ongoing, but so far it has mirrored the findings of a California investigation launched in 2012 the found widespread pricing irregularities. Those finding led to a civil consumer protection lawsuit, which Whole Foods settled after agreeing to pay nearly $800,000 penalties and designate an employee at each California store to enforce pricing accuracy and other measures to help ... Read More

IKEA announces second minimum wage hike in two years

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IKEA, known as the world’s largest furniture retailer, has announced its second minimum wage hike for employees in U.S. stores. This raise would increase IKEA’s hourly minimum wage from $10.76 to $11.87 – a 10 percent jump and exactly $4.62 over the current federal minimum wage. Considering retail sales workers in the U.S. normally receive an average wage of about $12.38, IKEA’s living wage announcement will push the company’s average U.S. store wage above $15. Beginning the first day of 2016, precisely 30 percent of U.S. IKEA employees will be earning at least $11.87, thanks to the retailer’s latest minimum wage hike. According to ... Read More

U.S. government asks court to block immunity shield in Alegrity Whistleblower Case

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The U.S. government motioned Friday to block a former security contractor’s bid to shield itself and its executives from liability in a whistleblower lawsuit accusing it of fraudulently overcharging the government and billing it tens of millions of dollars for work it never performed. Alegrity Inc., the bankrupt parent company of U.S. Investigations Services (USIS) which used to provide top-level security screenings for the government, plans to emerge from bankruptcy with all of its businesses except USIS intact. Alegrity is currently liquidating USIS amid a False Claims Act lawsuit that accuses the company of “flushing” or “dumping” unfinished security investigations ... Read More

Insurance companies sue Vegas doctors, hospitals for healthcare fraud

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A lawsuit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court by several insurance companies accuses two surgeons and four hospitals in Las Vegas of engaging in a profitable healthcare fraud scheme that led to scores of patients becoming implanted with counterfeit spinal devices. The lawsuit, filed in February and recently unsealed, alleges that Spinal Solutions, a now-defunct California medical device manufacturer, and co-conspirators made fake spinal hardware “at a fraction of the cost when compared with genuine product, and insidiously co-mingled fake implantable hardware with genuine product to make it difficult to trace.” The suit asserts Spinal Solutions paid kickbacks to ... Read More

NHTSA to investigate Fiat Chrysler’s 2013 Dodge Dart recall

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A federal investigation has been launched by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of Fiat Chrysler’s handling of the 121K 2013 Dodge Dart recall. A total of 18 complaints were received by NHTSA before it decided upon an investigation into the Dart’s braking problems. Recorded complaints state the vehicle’s brake pedal may suddenly become difficult to depress, increasing the expected braking distance significantly for Dodge Dart drivers. Some drivers even claim to hear a “pop noise or an air hissing noise when applying the brake pedal, followed by a hard pedal feel and reduced brake effectiveness.” In order to ... Read More