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Rutledge Issues Data Breach Advisories to Arkansas Medical Providers

Rutledge Issues Data Breach Advisories to Arkansas Medical Providers

Wed, Nov 13, 2019

Says, ‘important to work with providers, hospitals and offices on these new laws to protect Arkansans’ information’

LITTLE ROCK - Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today sent an advisory letter to medical licensees throughout Arkansas about their duty to report a data breach under the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA). The PIPA reporting guidelines, amended in July 2019, mandate that individuals, agencies and businesses notify the Attorney General’s Office at the same time as affected individuals or within 45 days if they experience a data breach that impacts more than 1,000 people.

“Medical providers and other entities carry some of the most sensitive material on our personal lives, and cybercriminals are ruthless in gathering this information to sell or use for bad purposes on the dark web,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “It’s important to work with providers, hospitals and offices on these new laws to protect Arkansans’ information and good businesses in the State.”

Rutledge’s advisory highlights provisions of (PIPA) identifying the types of personal information that triggers the notice requirement if a breach occurs:

  • Social security number
  • Driver’s license number or Arkansas identification card number
  • Account number, credit card number or debit card number in combination with any required security code, access code or password that would permit access to any individual’s financial account
  • Medical information

An online form has been made available for individuals, businesses or State agencies to use to report a data breach to the Attorney General’s Office. The form can be accessed at ArkansasAG.gov.

If you are a consumer who has been impacted by a data breach, Rutledge encourages you to contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline at (800) 482-8982.

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‘Tiny House’ Contractor Faces Big Lawsuit

‘Tiny House’ Contractor Faces Big Lawsuit

Tue, Nov 12, 2019

Rutledge files lawsuit on behalf of consumer complaints totaling more than $115,000 lost in unfinished homes

LITTLE ROCK – A “tiny house” contractor in Mountain View faces complaints by eight customers totaling more than $115,000 in unfinished homes and unreturned funds. Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced multiple Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practice Act (ADTPA) violations against Scott Stewart and his company Slabtown Customs. Consumers claim Stewart demanded large deposits for custom-built homes and then failed to complete the work or refund the payments.

“No matter how ‘tiny’ the job is, contracts must be fairly followed and projects completed,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Families made an investment in their future that Stewart could not deliver. I don’t want another customer taken advantage of with the hopes and investment in a new home that never becomes a reality.”

Stewart’s work has been featured on HGTV’s Tiny House Hunters and FYI’s Tiny House Nation. He specializes in homes that are approximately 300 square feet and built on bumper pull trailers.

From 2012 to present, clients in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, New Mexico and Pennsylvania claim Stewart required large down payments and progress payments of up to two-thirds of the full purchase price. When the completion date passed, Stewart would often offer a refund that was never fulfilled. Some customers have been waiting for their money or house for more than 5 years. The lawsuit was filed in Pulaski County, Tuesday.

To submit a claim or learn more about consumer-related issues, contact the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at (800) 482-8982, email consumer@arkansasag.gov or visit ArkansasAG.gov.

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Rutledge Thanks Veterans for Service to Country

Rutledge Thanks Veterans for Service to Country

Mon, Nov 11, 2019

Says, ‘I want to thank our veterans and their families for their service, commitment and sacrifice’

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today released the following statement in recognition of Veterans for their service to the United States.

“America is the land of the free because of the brave men and women who for centuries have honorably served our country in war and peacetime,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Arkansas is home to 219,000 veterans. Today and always I want to thank our veterans and their families for their service, commitment and sacrifice to ensuring the United States has the greatest military ever seen in the world.”

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Rutledge Joins Multistate T-Mobile/Sprint Settlement

Rutledge Joins Multistate T-Mobile/Sprint Settlement

Fri, Nov 8, 2019

U.S. Department of Justice’s Remedy to Expand 5G Network in Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced joining the multistate settlement that approves the merger between T-Mobile and Sprint. Arkansas joins the U.S. Department of Justice and eight other states in the settlement that will make Dish Network Corp. the fourth nationwide provider of retail mobile wireless services. In addition to protecting competition, the proposed settlement will expedite the availability of high-quality 5G networks for Arkansas consumers.

“Arkansans deserve to have a level playing field when paying for affordable and reliable access to internet and cell phone services,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “This agreement will help connect customers in rural parts of our State to 5G networks which will boost education and economic opportunities while safeguarding the industry from anticompetitive practices.”

The U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division along with nine states sued to block the transaction between T-Mobile and Sprint earlier this year and have agreed to settle the lawsuit based on the proposed settlement. If approved by the court, the settlement would resolve the Justice Department’s and the co-plaintiff states’ competitive concerns.

Under the terms of the proposed settlement, T-Mobile and Sprint must divest Sprint’s prepaid business, including Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile and Sprint prepaid, to Dish. The proposed settlement also provides for the divestiture of certain spectrum assets to Dish. Additionally, T-Mobile and Sprint must make available to Dish at least 20,000 cell sites and hundreds of retail locations. T-Mobile must also provide Dish with robust access to the T-Mobile network for a period of seven years while Dish builds out its own 5G network.

Arkansas joins Colorado, Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma and South Dakota in this proposed settlement.

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U.S. Senate Confirms Rutledge’s First Solicitor General as Federal District Judge

U.S. Senate Confirms Rutledge’s First Solicitor General as Federal District Judge

Thu, Nov 7, 2019

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released the following statement after the U.S. Senate confirmed the judicial nomination of Lee Rudofsky to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas.

“As the Solicitor General in my office, Lee demonstrated daily his legal acumen, intellect, adherence to the original intent of the law, integrity and impartiality,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I am confident he will be a fair and impartial jurist who will serve the people and our great nation well as a federal judge.”

In 2015, Rudofsky was hired by Attorney General Rutledge to be the first official Solicitor General in the Attorney General’s Office. In that role, he advised Attorney General Rutledge on several key proceedings, including defending the State’s decision to successfully terminate Medicaid program funding to Planned Parenthood. He organized a multistate, bipartisan and multimillion dollar lawsuit in the U.S. Supreme Court against the State of Delaware. He also successfully led litigation allowing the execution of convicted murderers by lethal injection. Rudofsky also implemented the office’s formal moot court program to prepare the State’s attorneys for argument and established a clear review process for appellate briefs written by other departments.

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Rutledge: Opioid Awareness Public Service Announcement Launched

Rutledge: Opioid Awareness Public Service Announcement Launched

Mon, Nov 4, 2019

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today released a statewide public service announcement (PSA) addressing the opioid epidemic that continues to devastate Arkansas. Rutledge has been a leader in the State and the nation combating the opioid epidemic by using a multifaceted approach of education, litigation, treatment and enforcement.

“Opioids kill hundreds of Arkansans every year tearing families apart and devastating communities,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “On average there are 62 pills for every man, woman and child in the State. Together let’s educate everyone, enforce the laws and end this epidemic. After all, Arkansas is just one big small town.”

Rutledge has taken an aggressive approach to protect Arkansans and combat the epidemic by suing manufacturers Johnson & Johnson, Purdue Pharma and Endo for violations of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (ADTPA) and the Arkansas Medicaid Fraud False Claims Act. In April 2019, Rutledge filed a separate lawsuit against distributors Cardinal Health, McKesson Corporation and AmerisourceBergen Drug Corporation for violations of the ADTPA as well as for negligence, creation of a public nuisance and being unjustly enriched by their business practices.

On the educational front, Rutledge’s first-in-the-nation Prescription for Life program is free for high schools and has reached 69 counties and almost 17,000 students. On November 14, Attorney General Rutledge will host the eighth annual Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit at the Hot Springs Convention Center. The free event provides training and educational opportunities for law enforcement, medical professionals, pharmacists and educators. Attendees will hear from former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie who is keynoting the luncheon.

The public service announcement can be viewed on various networks and cable stations throughout the State and can be found on Rutledge’s YouTube page.

Arkansans who have questions can email the office at oag@ArkansasAG.gov or call (800) 482-8982.

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