Digest 11.8.2018 The State AG Report Weekly Update

Cozen in the News

Cozen O’Connor’s State Attorneys General Election Tracker Reports 2018 AG Election Results and 2019 Projected AG Political Landscape

  • Cozen O’Connor’s State AG Election Tracker issued a report on the 2018 AG Election Results & 2019 Projected AG Political Landscape following the November 6, 2018 elections.
  • The report describes the outcomes of all 31 state AG elections, along with the results of races involving AGs running for higher office and other races impacting the appointment or election of AGs.
  • As described in the report, the 2019 projected AG political landscape will likely be comprised of 27 Democrat AGs and 24 Republican AGs.

Cozen O’Connor’s State Attorneys General Practice Publishes Updated Guide to State Attorneys General

  • Cozen O’Connor’s State Attorneys General practice has published an updated 2018 Guide to State Attorneys General following the November 6, 2018 election.
  • The Guide provides background information, current leadership positions, and other data regarding the AGs and the new AGs-elect of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. Territories.

Cozen O’Connor’s State Attorneys General Practice Co-Chair Quoted in Article on New York Attorney General-Elect Priorities

Consumer Protection

New Jersey Attorney General Settles with Medical Group Over Alleged Exposure of Private Health Information

  • New Jersey AG Gurbir Grewal reached a settlement with now-defunct ATA Consulting LLC d/b/a Best Medical Transcription and its owner (collectively, “ATA”) over allegations that ATA caused public exposure of private health information of Virtua Medical Group patients in violation of the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) and state consumer protection laws.
  • According to the AG’s office, ATA misconfigured servers used at multiple Virtua Medical Group locations, causing exposure of names and medical diagnoses of over 1,600 patients.
  • According to the AG’s office, under the terms of the settlement, ATA will pay $200,000 in civil penalties, fees, and costs, and ATA’s owner is permanently enjoined from managing or owning a business in the state.

New York Attorney General and Federal Trade Commission Sue Debt Collector Over Alleged Consumer Harassment and Deception

  • New York AG Barbara Underwood and the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) filed a lawsuit against debt collection companies Campbell Capital LLC; Kahl, Heidenreich, and Nemmer, LLC; Urban, Heidenreich, Melendez, and Associates, LLC; J & V Receivables, LLC; Rich Financial, LLC; and BCH & Associates Ltd., and the companies’ owner over allegations that the companies’ debt collection scheme violated the New York Executive Law and General Business Law, the FTC Act, and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
  • According to the AG’s office, the complaint alleges that the companies engaged in “overbiffing” by attempting to collect more than a consumer’s balance in full, impersonated law enforcement agencies, and threatened consumers with arrests or lawsuits for failure to pay.
  • The complaint seeks a permanent injunction against future violations of state and federal law; redress to consumers including rescission or reformation of contracts, restitution, refund of monies paid and disgorgement of profits; and civil penalties.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Sues Out-of-State Title Lender Over Allegedly Predatory Lending Practices

  • Pennsylvania AG Josh Shapiro filed a lawsuit against Delaware-based lenders Dominion Management of Delaware, Inc. d/b/a CashPoint, Dominion Management Services, Inc., and company executives (collectively, “CashPoint”) for allegedly issuing vehicle title loans with illegally high interest rates in violation of state consumer protection, lending, and racketeering laws.
  • According to the complaint, CashPoint allegedly extended over $2.5 million in credit at interest rates far above the 6% rate allowed under state lending laws—charging 360% per annum in some instances—and allegedly repossessed the vehicles of consumers who defaulted on such loans, among other things.
  • The complaint seeks a permanent injunction, restitution to consumers, disgorgement and forfeiture of profits, civil penalties, and invalidation of any debt owed to CashPoint by consumers, among other things.

Health Care

Indiana Attorney General and U.S. Department of Justice Settle with Dental Providers Over Alleged False Claims

  • Indiana AG Curtis Hill and the U.S. Department of Justice on behalf of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reached a settlement with dental providers ImmediaDent of Indiana, LLC (“ImmediaDent”) and Samson Dental Partners, LLC (SDP”) over allegations that the dental providers submitted false claims for payment to the state Medicaid program.
  • According to the AG’s office, ImmediaDent and SDP allegedly claimed in billing documentation that simple procedures were surgical in nature and billed for services that were not performed or medically unnecessary.
  • Under the terms of the settlement, the dental providers will pay $5.1 million, including $3.1 million in restitution and payment to the plaintiffs who originally brought a qui tam action related to the conduct.

Labor & Employment

Massachusetts Attorney General Issues Civil Citations to Construction Company Over Allegedly Illegal Deductions from Employees’ Paychecks

  • Massachusetts AG Maura Healey issued two civil citations to construction company Force Corporation and its managers (collectively, “Force Corporation”) over allegations that Force Corporation’s payroll practices violated Massachusetts wage and hour laws.
  • According to the AG’s office, Force Corporation allegedly failed to make timely payments of wages, unlawfully deducted the cost for tools, safety equipment, and other work-related items from employees’ wages, required employees to purchase their tools from a company owned by a Force Corporation manager under agreements only available in English, failed to maintain records of deductions, and failed to furnish payroll records to the AG’s office.
  • According to the AG’s office, the civil citations require Force Corporation to pay $837,341 in restitution and civil penalties.