A Conversation with State Attorneys General Webcast | Wednesday, April 18, 2:00 PM (ET)
Join Doug Gansler, Attorney General of Maryland and incoming president of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), for the next installment of “A Conversation with State Attorneys General,” Dickstein Shapiro’s ongoing webcast series. State AG Practice Partner Divonne Smoyer will interview AG Gansler about his role and priorities as Maryland’s chief legal officer. AG Gansler will also answer questions from the audience. Please click here to register for this complimentary program.
Scottrade Agrees to Cooperate in AG Antitrust Investigation
- The AGs of Connecticut, Iowa, and Missouri reached an agreement with Scottrade as part of a broader inquiry into potential collusive conduct by several retail securities brokers and firms that assist brokers that may have hindered competition.
- As part of the agreement, Scottrade did not admit to any wrongdoing but agreed to cooperate with the ongoing investigation and create a training program for employees to ensure compliance with antitrust laws.
Missouri AG Settles Deceptive Advertising Allegations with Auto Dealer
- Missouri AG Chris Koster announced a settlement with American Suzuki Motor Corporation resolving allegations that a former auto dealer for the company engaged in deceptive advertising practices.
- Under the settlement, the company will pay $500,000 in restitution to consumers and $40,000 in fines to the State to resolve claims that the dealer had inaccurately represented that consumers could purchase cars for no or very small monthly payments.
Texas Settles Pharmaceutical Fraud Claims against Johnson & Johnson
- Texas AG Greg Abbott announced a settlement with Johnson & Johnson resolving allegations that the company improperly promoted Risperdal for uses not approved by the FDA and downplayed its side effects.
- Under the agreement, the company will pay a total of $158 million to the State and the federal government, with $61 million going to reimburse Texas for alleged improper payments by state Medicaid.
Kentucky AG Settles AWP Claims with Novartis
- Kentucky AG Jack Conway reached a settlement with Novartis Pharmaceuticals resolving allegations that the company inflated the value of average wholesale prices for drugs.
- Under the agreement, Novartis will pay $2.75 million to reimburse the State for alleged overpayments by the State.
California AG Announces Settlement with Medco over Alleged CalPERS Bribery
- California AG Kamala Harris announced a settlement with Medco Health Solutions over its alleged misconduct in bidding for a contract to provide pharmaceutical benefit management for CalPERS, the state employee retirement system.
- Under the settlement, Medco will pay $2.75 million and adopt changes to its business practices to resolve allegations that one of its agents made improper gifts and contributions to CalPERS board members and officials and met with them during restricted periods in order to influence the bidding process.
Massachusetts AG Settles Unpaid Vacation Wage Claims with Healthcare Company
- Massachusetts AG Martha Coakley announced an agreement with healthcare company Genesis Healthcare resolving allegations that it and its affiliates unlawfully withheld vacation wages from employees who were terminated from their positions.
- Under the settlement, the company will pay more than $826,000 in back wages to employees for paid vacation time that they allegedly had accrued at the time they were terminated, as well as $200,000 fine to the State.
Oregon AG Files Amicus Brief in 9th Circuit Case over Use of Mortgage Database
- Oregon AG John Kroger announced that he filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in a case brought by a homeowner challenging the legality of a foreclosure in which the servicer relied on MERS, the electronic mortgage recording database established by the mortgage industry.
- The AG’s brief argued that the servicers’ reliance on recordings made using MERS could not substitute for state law recording requirements, which call for every transfer of a mortgage to be recorded by the beneficiary of the mortgage when the transfer is made.
5th Circuit Rules for Texas AG in Challenge to EPA’s Rejection of Texas’s Pollution Standards
- Texas AG Greg Abbott announced that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit had overturned the EPA’s decision to reject Texas’s Pollution Control Project Standards Permit.
- The Court accepted Texas’s argument that in rejecting the State’s proposal to regulate air pollution without a proper basis, the EPA improperly infringed on Texas’s authority under the Clean Air Act to create its own unique air quality programs that ensure compliance with federal standards.
Massachusetts AG Fines Companies for Allegedly Improper Asbestos Removal
- Massachusetts AG Martha Coakley announced $80,000 in fines levied against companies for allegedly improperly removing asbestos in violation of the State’s Clean Air Act.
- The companies, which include the owners of the building and the firm hired to demolish the property, allegedly failed to use proper containment and mitigation procedures to prevent the release of asbestos when removing pipe-covering insulation and ceiling tiles.