Rutledge Files Lawsuit Against Anthem AlarmThu, Mar 5, 2020
Says, ‘These door-to-door dealers used deception to secure sales’
LITTLE ROCK - Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge filed a lawsuit today against Anthem Alarm, LLC, a defunct Utah-based residential alarm sales company, and its former owners for deceptive door-to-door sales tactics in Arkansas and use of unenforceable contracts.
“Anthem made its money selling safety when it was all a scam,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “These door-to-door dealers used deception to secure sales and faulty contracts to make it nearly impossible to cancel services. I will continue to hold bad actors accountable who take advantage of Arkansans.”
Anthem sold alarm systems and monitoring services for thousands of dollars in Arkansas. Often, Anthem’s door-to-door sales agents told consumers that their current residential alarm company either was going out of business, had lost its license or had been sold to Anthem. It claimed to be providing these services through its own company when, in fact, it often immediately assigned the contract to an out-of-state company under another name. As a result, Anthem’s contracts did not include the total sale price, down payment, or notice of cancellation as required by law. Consumers were unable to cancel their contracts, were billed for services they did not receive and/or were billed for services after they canceled their contracts.
These allegations, along with multiple others listed in the complaint, are violations of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (ADTPA), Home Solicitation Sales Act (HSSA) and the Automatic Renewal of Professional Home Security Contracts Prohibition.
The Attorney General’s Office is seeking an injunction, restitution for consumers, civil penalties and other relief against Anthem and its former owners, Bradley Leeflang and Chase Evans. They face up to a $10,000 fine for each violation and are subject to an additional $10,000 penalty per violation for targeting elderly consumers.
For more tips to help avoid falling victim to bad actors, or to file a consumer-related claim with the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office, call (800) 482-8982, email email@example.com or visit ArkansasAG.gov.
Top 10 Consumer ComplaintsWed, Mar 4, 2020
Says, ‘We take every consumer complaint seriously and will work diligently to protect Arkansans.’
LITTLE ROCK– In addition to National Consumer Protection Week, March 1-7, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced the top 10 most common consumer complaints the Attorney General’s Office received in 2019.
“I want to do the fighting for you, but my office has to know what’s going on,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “We take every consumer complaint seriously and will work diligently to protect Arkansans.”
National Consumer Protection Week is a partnership with attorneys general from across the country, along with many national organizations including the Better Business Bureau, Federal Trade Commission and AARP, to encourage consumers to understand their rights and make educated consumer decisions.
The 10 most common complaint categories from 2019 were:
- Automobiles sales, service financing and repair
- Consumer Goods & Services
- Home Construction, Maintenance & Repair
- Satellite, Cable & Internet Service Providers
- Health Care
- Credit Repairs & Other Financial Services
- Wireless & Landline Telephone Services
- Travel & Timeshares
Automobile-related complaints were the top issue the Attorney General’s Office received from consumers in 2018 and 2019. Last year, automobile complaints brought in 1,185 complaints. These types of complaints often involve consumers reporting financing errors and high-pressure tactics to buy add-on services at the time of purchase, such as gap insurance, extended warranties and sales misrepresentations.
The Attorney General’s Office resolved 5,679 formal complaints in 2019, up by more than 200 since last year. To file a complaint online, visit ArkansasAG.gov.
For more information and tips to avoid scams and other consumer-related issues, contact the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office at (800) 482-8982 or firstname.lastname@example.org or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.
Broad-Based Support for Rutledge’s SCOTUS Case Shows Need to Regulate PBMsTue, Mar 3, 2020
Says, ‘large bi-partisan support from the public and private sectors shows the overwhelming need to regulate abusive PBM reimbursement practices’
LITTLE ROCK - Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge was encouraged by the broad-based support received for her case, to be heard before the U.S. Supreme Court in April. A brief of support was filed by 45 states and the District of Columbia as well as a brief from the US Solicitor General. The multistate brief, led by California, is one of the largest multistate amicus briefs in recent years. An additional 10 briefs from national organizations, such as AARP and the American Medical Association, were filed supporting Arkansas’s defense of its law regulating pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs).
“Having such large bi-partisan support from the public and private sectors shows the overwhelming need to regulate abusive PBM reimbursement practices,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Abusive PBM reimbursement practices are harming Arkansas patients and community pharmacies nationwide, all the while lining the pockets of PBMs with billions of dollars.”
Leslie Rutledge v. Pharmaceutical Care Management Association will be argued in the U.S. Supreme Court April 27. To view the full docket of what has been filed on behalf of this case as well as all amicus briefs, click here.
Rutledge’s Statement on Passing of Highway Commission Chairman Tom SchueckTue, Mar 3, 2020
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today released a statement offering condolences on the passing of Arkansas businessman Tom Schueck.
“I was saddened to learn of the passing of Highway Commission chairman and Arkansas Hall of Fame member Tom Schueck,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Tom made it his mission to build up Arkansas through infrastructure, transforming businesses and employing hundreds of people over the last 50 years. I am grateful for his service to our great State. His family has my deepest condolences and prayers during this difficult time.”
Rutledge Offers First Statewide Elder Abuse ConferenceMon, Mar 2, 2020
Says, ‘conference will provide caregivers and law enforcement with the tools to respond to incidences of suspected maltreatment.’
LITTLE ROCK– Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced the launch of the first statewide Elder Abuse Conference. Early bird registration is now available for the free training happening Thursday, April 30 at Arkansas State University’s First National Bank Arena in Jonesboro.
“Protecting our seniors from financial and physical abuse is a top priority,” said Attorney General Rutledge. This conference will provide additional education to our law enforcement officers, caregivers, and family members on identifying suspected maltreatment and how to respond.”
According to the National Council on Aging, one in 10 Americans 60 years and older, have experienced some kind of abuse. As many as five million elderly Americans are estimated to be abused each year.
The public is invited including law enforcement, medical professionals and providers, attorneys and home caregivers to learn how to better protect older and developmentally disabled adults. The statewide conference will cover a broad range of interconnected issues including: caregiver fatigue, financial exploitation, agency roles in protecting elders and endangered adults and communicating with victims who have cognitive impairments.
You can sign up today for the free, all-day training. Lunch is included. An agenda, including speakers, will be provided in the coming weeks. Applications for Continuing Education are in progress. Visit ArkansasAG.gov to register.
Supreme Court to Review Affordable Care Act’s ConstitutionalityMon, Mar 2, 2020
Rutledge says, ‘the individual mandate is unconstitutional’
LITTLE ROCK - Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued a statement following today’s announcement by the U.S. Supreme Court that it would hear arguments on the Affordable Care Act’s unconstitutional individual mandate, likely during the Court’s 2020 term. Arkansas, in joining an 18-state lawsuit against the federal government, has successfully argued in the Fifth Circuit that the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate is unconstitutional. A decision from the Supreme Court could settle the question whether all of Obamacare must be struck down because the individual mandate is unconstitutional.
“I have long argued the individual mandate is unconstitutional, and it’s time the Supreme Court finally addresses it,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Once the Affordable Care Act with its unconstitutional mandate are behind us, time will come for Congress to move forward and create a comprehensive healthcare law that will work with states and provide coverage for those with pre-existing conditions.”
In 2012, a majority of the Supreme Court upheld Obamacare against a constitutional challenge because it said the individual mandate was a valid exercise of Congress’s Tax Power under the U.S. Constitution. But a different majority also held that Congress did not have the power to create the individual mandate under the Constitution’s Commerce Clause. As Chief Justice Roberts explained, and the four-justice dissent agreed, the Commerce Clause gives Congress the power to regulate commerce – but not to compel it, which is what the individual mandate does.
In 2017, Congress eliminated the tax-penalty portion of the individual mandate as part of President Donald J. Trump’s tax overhaul. Then, in early 2018, Rutledge joined a multistate lawsuit filed in the federal district court in Texas. In this lawsuit, the states argued that Congress rendered all of Obamacare unconstitutional by doing away with the tax penalty. Another group of states, led by California, joined this lawsuit to defend the individual mandate.
After losing in federal district court and on appeal to the Fifth Circuit, California and its allies petitioned the Supreme Court to review the Fifth Circuit’s decision that the individual mandate is unconstitutional. The coalition, that includes Arkansas, opposed California’s petition but also filed a separate petition asking the Supreme Court to also review the district court’s decision to invalidate Obamacare in its entirety. This morning the Supreme Court granted both petitions.
In addition to Arkansas, the coalition – led by Texas – includes the attorneys general of Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah and West Virginia, along with the governor of Mississippi.