Each week, Crowell & Moring’s State Attorneys General team highlights significant actions that State AGs have taken. Here are this week’s updates.

Multistate

  • A bi-partisan coalition of 34 attorneys general submitted a letter to the Federal Trade Commission calling on the agency to consider the harms caused by the prevalence of commercial surveillance and data security practices when creating new rules to prevent misconduct and promote transparency and accountability around online data collection. The letter was filed in response to the FTC’s Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to Commercial Surveillance and Data Security, the attorneys general urge the FTC to acknowledge the heightened sensitivity around consumers’ medical data, biometric data, and location data, along with the dangers that arise from data brokers and surveillance of consumers. The coalition also asked the FTC to consider data minimization, which would limit the amount of data collected by businesses to only what is required for a specific purpose, to help mitigate concerns surrounding data aggregation.  
  • A coalition of 9 attorneys general, led by Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, submitted a letter to Dividend Solar Finance, GoodLeap, Riverbank, Sunlight Financial, and Solar Mosaic, urging the solar lending companies to suspend loan payments and the accrual of interest for customers who financed the purchase of a solar power system from Pink Energy (also known as, Power Home Solar) and have not received a working solar power system. The attorneys general also ask the lenders to assist Pink Energy customers who are experience other functionality and installation issues.

Arizona

  • Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced consent judgments with Mercedes-Benz and Robert Bosch LLC, resolving allegations that the companies falsely advertised  so-called “Clean Diesel” vehicles. According to the complaint, Mercedes-Benz deceptively marketed its BlueTEC vehicles as the most environmentally conscious diesel option in the world and employed a defeat device to make its vehicles emit lower levels of pollution under certain testing conditions but emit much higher levels in actual driving conditions. Bosch allegedly developed, manufactured, marketed, tested, and sold the electronic diesel control that allowed Mercedes to manipulate emissions controls and that Bosch also marketed as “Clean Diesel” to the public. Under the proposed consent judgments, Mercedes-Benz will pay $2,835,000 in consumer restitution and $2,715,000 in penalties, and Bosch will pay $525,000 in penalties.

Minnesota

  • Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced a settlement with Express Enrollment, LLC, a student-loan debt-relief company, resolving allegations that the company illegally collected fees from customers and misrepresented its services to consumers. According to the complaint, Express Enrollment charged exorbitant fee to enroll consumers in federal repayment programs that consumers can enroll themselves in for free, and then pocketed the fees. The settlement requires that the company to cease operations in Minnesota, pay $50,000 to the state, and provide refunds to its Minnesota consumers.

New York

  • New York Attorney General Letitia James sent a letter to congressional leaders to adopt legislation that would prohibit the investment of retirement funds in digital assets, such as cryptocurrencies, digital coins, and digital tokens. The letter comes after a major financial institution offered Bitcoin as an investment option in its 401(k) plans. The letter stressed the need to protect workers’ retirement funds and avoid the dangers of risky cryptocurrencies and their unstable markets.

Pennsylvania

  • Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced a settlement with Grubhub, the online food delivery application, resolving allegations that consumers were sometimes charged higher prices for the items than they would have paid had they ordered from the restaurant directly. As part of the settlement, Grubhub will give $125,000 in donations to food banks throughout Pennsylvania.

Washington D.C.

  • Washington D.C. Attorney General Karl A. Racine announced a settlement with Drizly, an alcohol delivery company, resolving allegations that it failed to ensure that delivery drivers received tips left by consumers and failed to pay taxes owed to the District. During its investigation, OAG learned that—contrary to consumer expectations—the tips consumers paid through Drizly’s platform often did not pass through to the driver. Instead, Drizly allegedly passed these “tips” to its retail partners with no meaningful restrictions or requirements that the money be paid to the drivers. The OAG investigation also revealed that Drizly failed to pay millions of dollars in sales and use taxes to the District, including taxes for orders processed on its platform under the District’s Marketplace Facilitator Law and taxes on the delivery and service fees Drizly charged District consumers. Drizly will be required to pay an estimated total of $6.46 million.

Each week, Crowell & Moring’s State Attorneys General team highlights significant actions that State AGs have taken. Here are this week’s updates.

Multistate

  • A bipartisan coalition of twenty-three attorneys general filed an amicus brief in support of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s suit against the National Collegiate Student Loan Trusts (including fifteen trusts) for allegedly engaging in illegal debt collection of student loans. Specifically, the attorneys general support the interpretation that student loan trusts are “covered persons” under the Consumer Financial Protection Act, arguing the National Collegiate Student Loan Trusts are liable under the Consumer Financial Protection Act for misconduct in servicing student loans.
  • A bipartisan coalition of twenty-one attorneys general filed an amicus brief challenging “no-poach” provisions used by McDonalds in franchise agreements. These provisions allegedly restrict the rights of workers to move from one franchise to another in the same restaurant chain. The brief argues that no-poach provisions violate federal antitrust law and interfere with workers’ ability to seek better employment opportunities, wages, and benefits.
  • The Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force via Georgia Attorney General Carr announced that the national Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force has taken enforcement action against two voice service providers for alleged involvement in illegal robocalls. The two providers are Michael Lansky LLC, d/b/a Avid Telecom, and One Eye LLC. The Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force was created in August of 2022 and is comprised of 51 attorneys general. The State of Indiana is enforcing civil investigative demands against each company.

California

  • California Attorney General Bonta announced the release of checks to consumers in relation to the Provigil settlement, a drug widely prescribed for the treatment of sleep disorders. The money is from the $69 million settlement with pharmaceutical company Teva, which was secured by the California Department of Justice. Californians who filed verifiable claims should receive a check in the coming weeks. 
  • California Attorney General Bonta filed a lawsuit against the manufacturers of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, commonly referred to as PFAS, for allegedly endangering public health, causing irreparable harm to the state’s natural resources, and engaging in a widespread campaign to deceive the public. The manufacturers include companies such as 3M and Dupont and the complaint alleges that the companies knew or should have known that PFAS are toxic. PFAS are widely used in common consumer products such as food packaging, cookware, clothing, shoes, paints and cleaning products.

Idaho

  • Idaho Attorney General Wasden was recognized by the National Association of Attorneys General this week for his commitment and leadership in reducing youth tobacco usage. Wasden is a five-term attorney general and a leader on tobacco issues within the attorney general community and worked on the national settlement, known as the “Master Settlement Agreement,” with the tobacco industry, which restricted marketing and advertising of tobacco products.

Maryland

  • Maryland Attorney General Frosh announced that the Health Education and Advocacy Unit within the Consumer Protection Division of the Office of the Attorney General closed 1,695 cases in the 2022 fiscal year, which included assisting patients in recovering over $2.4 million. The Health Education and Advocacy Unit provides mediation services to consumers with health insurance and medical billing issues, hospital financial assistance applications, medical debt collection, and access to medical records issues.

Michigan

  • Michigan Attorney General Nessel issued investigative subpoenas requesting testimony and documentation to a tree removal company for allegedly violating the Michigan Consumer Protection Act. Michigan’s Choice Tree Service, LLC allegedly overcharged customers for emergency tree services and engaged in patterns of intentional consumer confusion related to payment and insurance coverage. 

New York

  • New York Attorney General James conducted an investigation regarding online ammunition sellers illegally shipping ammunition to New York. The investigation found that thirty-nine ammunition sellers have been shipping ammunition directly to New York residents in violation of New York’s SAFE Act, which prohibits direct online sales of ammunition to New York residents. Attorney General James sent cease and desist orders to each of these ammunition sellers demanding each immediately ceases shipment of ammunition directly to residents.

Oregon

  • Oregon Attorney General Rosenblum sued AbbVie, ABBOTT Laboratories, Unimed Pharmaceuticals, and Besins Healthcare for using sham patent litigation to monopolize the market for testosterone replacement gels leading to exorbitant pricing. The lawsuit alleges that the four pharmaceutical companies, which hold the exclusive patent for brand AndroGel, filed lawsuits to prevent competitors from bringing a generic version of AndroGel to market. The AndroGel product has had annual U.S. sales of more than $1 billion.

Pennsylvania

  • Pennsylvania Attorney General Shapiro filed charges against a medical assistant for allegedly stealing patient information for personal use. The medical assistant allegedly collected patient records to open credit cards, purchase goods, and lease apartments.

Washington

  • Washington Attorney General Ferguson announced a Washington Superior Court judge rejected PEMCO Mutual Insurance Company and subsidiaries of the Progressive Corporation’s attempt to stop Attorney General Ferguson’s investigation into potential race discrimination by those companies against Washington drivers. The investigation focuses on the companies use of credit histories to derive insurance “scores” despite evidence that this practice disproportionately harms people of color. The companies brought the matter to court, which made the investigation public.

Each week, Crowell & Moring’s State Attorneys General team highlights significant actions that State AGs have taken. Here are this week’s updates.

Multistate

  • A coalition of 25 attorneys general filed an amicus brief in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in support of the Federal Trade Commission’s attempt to block Meta from acquiring virtual reality fitness company Within Unlimited and its app “Supernatural.” The coalition argues that the acquisition would lessen competition and potentially create a monopoly in the virtual reality fitness arena.
  • The attorneys general of California, the District of Columbia, and Illinois asked a D.C. District Court to temporarily halt Albertsons’ planned $4 billion special dividend payment to shareholders after concerns that the payment would negatively affect workers, consumers, and competition in the three markets. The attorneys general seek to delay the payment pending regulatory review of the proposed merger between Albertsons and Kroger.
  • The state attorneys general Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force, made up of 51 state attorneys general, announced enforcement actions against voice service providers Avid Telecom and One Eye because of their roles in illegal robocalls. The task force alleges that Avid Telecom knowingly accepted and routed illegal robocalls, and that One Eye was run by an individual whose other voice service provider was shut down by the Federal Communications Commission.
  • A bipartisan coalition of 35 attorneys general filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in support of Oklahoma’s laws that seek to regulate pharmacy benefit managers’ abusive practices. The coalition argues that states have the power to protect consumers by regulating these business practices.
  • A bipartisan group of state attorneys general reached a $10.7 billion settlement in principle with CVS and Walgreens for allegedly failing to detect and prevent opioid abuse. The settlement proceeds will help state and local governments address the opioid crisis.

Arkansas

  • Arkansas Attorney General Rutledge announced a lawsuit against Young’s Outdoor Solutions for violations of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act when it advertised and accepted money from consumers to install in-ground swimming pools and then failed to complete them. The company also allegedly outsourced work to and failed to pay subcontractors, which resulted in the issuance of collection letters to customers demanding payment and the filing of liens against consumers’ homes.

California

  • California Attorney General Bonta and the California Air Resources Board announced a $25 million settlement with Bosch for its role in the Volkswagen and Fiat Chrysler diesel emissions scandals. The settlement resolves allegations that Bosch violated consumer protection laws and provided software programming or calibration services, software, and hardware to Volkswagen and Fiat Chrysler when it knew or should have known that they were violating consumer protection and environmental law. The settlement also includes injunctive relief.
  • California Attorney General Bonta sent letters to six plastic bag manufacturers requiring that they substantiate their claims that the bags are recyclable by November 16, 2022, as required by California Law, SB 270.
  • California Attorney General Bonta announced a settlement with the former Paul Blanco’s Good Car Company, a network of auto dealerships, and its principal executives, resolving allegations that the defendants engaged in unlawful business practices including false advertising and statements that misled customers into purchasing add-on products.

District of Columbia

  • Washington D.C. Attorney General Racine announced that his office is investigating D.C. restaurants who use GratShare, an app for the administration and distribution of tips, because the app illegally charges workers to receive their tips.

Massachusetts

  • Massachusetts Attorney General Healey announced a settlement with payment processing company Global Holdings LLC over claims that it helped with a debt settlement company’s unlawful business practices of charging vulnerable consumers illegally inflated and premature fees. The settlement includes a $600,000 penalty and requires changes to the company’s business practices.
  • Massachusetts Attorney General Healey announced that her office reached an agreement with The Berkshire Gas Company, which reduces its proposed distribution rate increase for residential, commercial, and industrial gas customers by over $1.7 million and prevents further rate increases before November 1, 2025. The agreement also includes a $125,000 contribution to fund residential assistance programs.
  • Massachusetts Attorney General Healey announced a settlement agreement with nursing home Sea View Retreat, Inc. and its owner, which resolves allegations that they did not implement appropriate infection control procedures during the pandemic. The settlement requires the company and owner to pay $175,000 in penalties and agree not to own, operate, or manage a long-term care or assisted living facility in the state.
  • Massachusetts Attorney General Healey announced a settlement with Pharmacy Benefits Manager Express Scripts, Inc., that includes an agreement from the company to pay $3.2 million in penalties after it allegedly failed to follow prescription pricing practices as outlined in regulatory benchmarks to prevent overcharges in the workers’ compensation insurance system. The settlement also requires that the company implement new procedures to prevent overcharges and also ensure regulatory compliance.
  • Massachusetts Attorney General Healey filed a complaint and consent judgment against home health and hospice care company Aveanna Healthcare, LLC after allegations that it failed to implement adequate security measures to protect patients’ and employees’ personal information. The consent judgment includes a $425,000 penalty, and requires a security and training program.

Minnesota

  • Minnesota Attorney General Ellison announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture granted the Minnesota Department of Agriculture Rural Finance Authority $15 million to create a Meat and Poultry Revolving Loan Fund that would increase competition and economic opportunities for poultry and meat processors in the state.

New York

  • New York Attorney General James announced that her office secured a $523 million settlement with Teva Pharmaceuticals, Ltd., its American subsidiary Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, and its affiliates. This is the largest settlement reached with an individual opioid defendant by Attorney General James and resolves her litigation against opioid manufacturers and distributors.
  • New York Attorney General James announced a $30.5 million settlement with CBS and its former President and Chief Executive Officer Leslie Moonves for hiding sexual assault allegations against Mr. Moonves, misleading investors about the allegations, and insider trading. The settlement also requires CBS to reform its sexual harassment investigation policies and procedures, and provide biannual reports; and it requires that Mr. Moonves must obtain written approval from the Attorney General’s Office before he accepts an executive or officer position at a public company in New York for the next five years.

Pennsylvania

  • Pennsylvania Attorney General Shapiro announced that his office filed suit against Fluent, Inc., which connects advertisers to potential new customers through their personal data, for allegedly causing unwanted robocalls to consumers by selling personal information to telemarketing companies. The information sold allegedly included consumers who were registered with the state Do Not Call List.

Each week, Crowell & Moring’s State Attorneys General team highlights significant actions that State AGs have taken. Here are this week’s updates.

Multistate

  • A coalition of five state attorneys general sent a letter demanding that Albertsons delay a $4 billion payout to stockholders until state attorneys general and the Federal Trade Commission complete their review of its proposed merger with Kroger. The state attorneys general are dedicated to ensuring that the proposed merger of these grocery behemoths does not result in higher prices for consumers, suppressed wages for workers, or other anticompetitive effects.
  • The Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force, which fifty-one attorneys general participate in, is asking a court to require two voice service providers to cooperate in multistate investigations over alleged involvement in illegal robocalls. Its targets, Avid Telecom and One Eye LLC, are alleged to have accepted and routed fraudulent robocalls, including government imposter scams, fake legal threats, and phony offers purporting to be from businesses like Amazon and Apple.

Arizona

  • Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich posted consumer protection tips regarding over-the-counter hearing aids, which are now available for sale under the Food and Drug Administration Rules.

California

  • California Attorney General Rob Bonta issued a legal alert reminding urban and community water providers of requirements under the Water Shutoff Protection Act to protect California tenants and homeowners facing water shutoffs. Since the beginning of 2022, the cost of water has increased by an estimated 40%, making it difficult for many Californians to stay on top of their water payments.
  • Attorney General Bonta and the Federal Trade Commission announced a settlement with Ygrene Energy Fund, Inc., a clean energy financing company, resolving allegations of misconduct relating to its administration of the Property Assessed Clean Energy program. This program is a form of home-improvement financing offered by some California local governments in partnership with private investors that can provide loans to help property owners pay for home-improvement projects, such as the installation of solar panels.

Florida

  • Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody posted a consumer alert highlighting online cyber safety tips for Floridians during National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

Massachusetts

  • Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and the Baker-Polito Administration celebrated plans to renovate the historic Stone Mill building in Lawrence, using funds from a $56 million settlement that their offices reached with Columbia Gas in 2020 for its role in the Merrimack Valley gas explosions that devastated thousands of homeowners and businesses in Lawrence, Andover, and North Andover in 2018.

New Hampshire

  • New Hampshire Attorney General John M. Formella announced that Brian Jeffrey Strouth of Pittsfield, New Hampshire, pleaded guilty and was sentenced yesterday in the Belknap County Superior Court to one class A misdemeanor count of unfair or deceptive acts or practices in violation of New Hampshire’s Consumer Protection Act.

New York

  • New York Attorney General Letitia James publicized the sentencing of Thomas Parsons and his window manufacturing company Litex, Inc. for altering and falsifying laboratory performance test reports for windows that were commonly purchased and installed in K-12 public school buildings and college dormitories throughout upstate New York. Judge Susan Eagan sentenced Mr. Parsons to five years’ probation and Litex to pay $3 million dollars in restitution to property owners who purchased the substandard windows.

Ohio

  • Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost sued Dollar General for allegedly advertising goods for one price on shelves and charging a higher price at the register. Ohio Department of Agriculture rules permit stores to have up to a 2% error rate on overcharges, but recent testing done by the Butler County auditor’s Department of Weights and Measures found error rates ranging from 16.7% to 88.2% for 20 Dollar General stores. Furthermore, from March 2021 to August 2022, the Attorney General’s Office received 12 complaints detailing similar unfair and deceptive practices by Dollar General stores in Cuyahoga, Franklin, Highland, Lucas, Madison, Richland, Summit and Trumbull counties.

Virginia

  • Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares encouraged parents and guardians to be on the lookout for counterfeit tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) laced edibles. These products are designed to resemble popular brands of candy and snacks, making it difficult for children, and even adults, to differentiate between legitimate food products and copycat THC-infused products—the latter of which are illegal in Virginia.

Washington

  • Following Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s 2020 campaign finance transparency lawsuit in King County Superior Court, Judge Douglass North ruled that Meta intentionally violated Washington law 822 times and ordered Meta to pay the maximum penalty of $24,660,000.
  • Following Attorney General Ferguson’s lawsuits in March against Florida-based CA Certificate Service and Labor Poster Compliance and their owners, a King County Superior Court judge has ordered the two companies and their owners to pay more than $24.8 million for their unlawful conduct targeting small business owners. The judge determined that both companies’ “entire business model was based upon deceiving small business owners.”
  • Attorney General Ferguson also publicized that former Spokane County worker Rhonda Sue Ackerman has pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree theft. Ackerman was employed as a liability claims technician and stole $1.38 million over the course of a decade from Spokane County by filing fake claims.
  • Attorney General Ferguson filed a lawsuit to block Albertson Companies Inc. from enriching its shareholders with a $4 billion payout before a proposed merger with The Kroger Co. can be reviewed by state and federal antitrust enforcers. The “special dividend” payment, Ferguson argues, risks severely undercutting the grocery giant’s ability to compete during the lengthy time period government regulators — including Washington — will be scrutinizing the merger.

Each week, Crowell & Moring’s State Attorneys General team highlights significant actions that State AGs have taken. Here are this week’s updates.

Multistate

  • A bipartisan coalition of 35 attorneys general submitted an amicus brief in Pharmaceutical Care Management Association v. Glen Mulready, et. al. The brief supports Oklahoma’s laws that regulate pharmacy benefit managers, and advocates that “states have an interest in preserving states’ authority to regulate companies doing business in their states, protecting their residents’ access to healthcare, and curbing abusive business practices. To advance these interests, nearly all states regulate pharmacy benefit managers.” Pharmaceutical Care Management Association’s broad approach to federal preemption, however, would “severely impede states’ abilities to protect their residents and potentially upend licensing and regulatory structures in nearly every state.” 
  • A coalition of 19 attorneys general served civil investigative demands on six major American banks, requesting documents relating to the companies’ involvement with the United Nations’ Net-Zero Banking Alliance. Banks that are members of the Alliance must set emissions reduction targets in their lending and investment portfolios to reach net zero by 2050. The coalition expressed concerned with how the companies’ involvement in the Alliance will affect fossil-fuel and agriculture businesses that try to obtain loans from the banks. The banks under investigation are Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo.

Arizona

  • Arizona Attorney General Brnovich warned consumers that the state has seen an increase in text scam related complaints. It also noted that the Federal Trade Commission has logged a record high of 387,119 text scam related complaints in 2021. The median loss per person for text scams in 2021 was $900.

Illinois

  • Illinois Attorney General Raoul announced a settlement with Stepan Company, a chemical manufacturing company, resolving allegations that the company violated various air pollution provisions of the Illinois Environmental Protection Act, the Illinois Pollution Control Board regulations and federal regulations, as well as operating permit provisions. As part of the settlement, Stepan Company must pay $360,725, and take other specific relief to prevent future air pollution.

Indiana

  • Indiana Attorney General Rokita announced a settlement with Startel Communication LLC and Ms. Hall, its CEO, resolving allegations that they and several other defendants assisted and facilitated foreign robo-callers in India, the Philippines, and Singapore who made robocalls to Indiana residents. As part of the settlement, both Startel and Ms. Hall are prohibited from operating or working with a telecommunications company. Both are also banned from working in the telecommunications industry.

Massachusetts

  • Massachusetts Attorney General Healey launched an online portal for nonprofit organizations and charities in the state to submit statutorily required filings.

Michigan

  • Michigan Attorney General Nessel announced a settlement with Unemployment Insurance Agency, resolving allegations that the company used an auto-adjudication system to falsely accuse recipients of fraud, resulting in the seizure of their property without due process. As part of the settlement, the defendant is required to pay $20 million to recipients.

New York

  • New York Attorney General James announced a settlement with Hy Cite Enterprises, a cookware company, for allegedly targeting Spanish-speaking communities with door-to-door marketing tactics that failed to clearly disclose refund policies in violation of the Door-to-Door Sales Protection Act. Hy Cite is required to pay $300,000, and offer restitution to certain customers who were previously denied a refund.
  • New York Attorney General James announced the filing of a lawsuit against Intermountain Management for buying its main competitor, Toggenburg Mountain, then allegedly shutting it down in order to direct skiers to its own ski mountains. In addition, Attorney General James ended an allegedly illegal agreement between the owner of Greek Peak Mountain, Mr. John H. Meier, and Intermountain that prohibited Mr. Meier from competing with Intermountain or hiring any of its employees. Under the settlement, Mr. Meier is required to pay $195,000 to the state and has agreed to cooperate with the litigation against Intermountain.

Texas

  • Texas Attorney General Paxton announced that his office completed distribution of $4.2 million in redress payments to approximately 42,000 Texans whose personal information was compromised in a 2016 data breach at Uber Technologies, Inc.

Washington D.C.

  • Washington D.C. Attorney General Racine announced a settlement with DARO Management Services, DARO Realty, and Infinity Real Estate, real estate firms, and several individual defendants requiring defendants to pay $10 million. According to the complaint, defendants illegally discriminated against District renters by making it more challenging for low-income individuals to rent apartments in its buildings in Wards 1, 2, and 3. All defendants are permanently banned from owning a residential real estate management company in the District. DARO Management President and Principal Broker, Carissa Barry, also must forfeit her real estate license for 15 years. 

Each week, Crowell & Moring’s State Attorneys General team highlights significant actions that State AGs have taken. Here are this week’s updates.

Multistate

  • A bipartisan coalition of 35 state attorneys general, led by Minnesota Attorney General Ellison, filed an amicus brief to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals supporting Oklahoma’s laws that regulate abusive behavior of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). Oklahoma’s laws are being challenged by the PBM industry’s national lobbying association, Pharmaceutical Care Management Association. The amicus brief seeks to assure that all states can regulate PBMs and says “states have an interest in preserving states’ authority to regulate companies doing business in their states, protecting their residents’ access to healthcare, and curbing abusive business practices. To advance these interests, nearly all states regulate pharmacy benefit managers.” The case before the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals is PCMA v. Mulready and it is the second case to reach a federal court of appeals since the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in PCMA v. Rutledge in 2020.
  • Multiple state attorneys general offices issued consumer alerts warning residents of possible student loan scams following the beta testing of the federal student debt relief application. Scammers may pose as the Department of Education or loan providers and issue fake debt relief applications requesting personal identifying information from state residents.
  • Multiple state attorneys general offices issued consumer alerts regarding cybersecurity practices and protecting personal information and data as October is designated as Cybersecurity Awareness Month by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

California

  • California Attorney General Bonta sent a letter to California Senators Feinstein and Padilla expressing concerns with the Securing and Enabling commerce Using Remote and Electronic (SECURE) Notarization Act. Attorney General Bonta expressed concern because the SECURE Notarization Act would preempt California state notarization laws. Attorney General Bonta argued the law should provide flexibility for states to monitor and prevent data breaches, fraud, and other abuses as California already has robust notarization enforcement to safeguard consumer privacy.

District of Columbia

  • District of Columbia Attorney General Racine introduced emergency legislation to increase oversight and accountability of the D.C. Housing Authority alongside D.C. Councilmember Elissa Silverman. The Housing Authority Accountability Emergency Amendment Act of 2022 contains a variety of provisions, but notably clarifies that the D.C. Housing Authority is subject to D.C.’s consumer protection laws.

Florida

  • Florida Attorney General Moody issued a reminder that Florida’s price gouging laws remain in effect following Hurricane Ian and the September 23rd declaration of a state of emergency. The Rapid Response Team has already recovered approximately $17,000 for more than 100 consumers who have contacted the Attorney General’s Office with suspicious prices.  

New York

  • New York Attorney General James secured a $1.9 million agreement from e-commerce retailer, Zoetop Business Company, Ltd., owner and operator of popular e-commerce brands SHEIN and ROMWE, for failing to properly handle a data breach that compromised the personal information of tens of millions of consumers worldwide and lying about the scope of that data breach to consumers. The data breach included 39 million SHEIN accounts and 7 million ROMWE accounts, involving 800,000 New York residents. An investigation by Attorney General James’s office revealed that the company failed to properly safeguard consumers’ information prior to the data breach, failed to take adequate steps to protect the impacted accounts after the breach, and downplayed the extent of the cyberattack to consumers. Zoetop will pay $1.9 million in penalties to New York and will be required to strengthen its cybersecurity measures to protect consumers’ information.

Pennsylvania

  • Pennsylvania Attorney General Shapiro announced a settlement with the owners of Dominion Management d/b/a CashPoint, a now defunct auto title loan business. CashPoint made thousands of unlawful loans to Pennsylvania borrowers at annual interest rates exceeding 200%. The owners, Kevin Williams and Mark Williams, are required to refund more than $1.5 million in unlawful interest charges to consumers. Cashpoint was based in Delaware, but Attorney General Shapiro made clear that businesses operating in Pennsylvania, even though based in other states, cannot evade Pennsylvania’s usury and unfair business practices laws.

Washington

  • Washington Attorney General Ferguson filed a motion seeking the maximum penalty of $24.6 million against Meta based on 822 intentional violations of Washington’s campaign finance transparency laws. Prior to this motion, on Oct. 6th, King County Superior Court Judge North ruled on summary judgment briefing and found that Meta intentionally violated Washington’s campaign finance laws 822 times. The underlying campaign finance law requires campaign advertisers, including entities that host political ads such as Meta, to make information about Washington political advertisements that run on their platforms available for public inspection in a timely manner. The law requires advertisers to keep records of the cost of the advertisement, the sponsorship of the advertisement, and targeting and reach information about the advertisement. The Office of the Attorney General cited repeat violations of this law starting in 2018.
  • Washington Attorney General Ferguson and Senator Nguyen announced a plan to propose legislation in the 2023 legislative session to ensure a utility company is unable to shut off Washingtonians’ power or water if the temperature is 95 degrees or higher. The legislation would mirror similar protections in nineteen other states and is designed to ensure Washingtonians’ access to electric fans, working refrigerators, and running water is not disrupted during bouts of extreme heat.

Each week, Crowell & Moring’s State Attorneys General team highlights significant actions that State AGs have taken. Here are this week’s updates.

Multistate

  • A multistate coalition of 23 attorneys general sent a comment letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in support of its proposed rule that strengthens the Affordable Care Act’s anti-discrimination protections. The rule would implement the ACA’s Section 1557, which prohibits discrimination against, and strengthens protections for, LGBTQ+ individuals, women, those with disabilities, and those with limited English proficiency in the provision of healthcare in the federal government.

California

  • California Attorney General Bonta filed an amicus brief in Raines v. U.S. Healthworks Medical Group before the California Supreme Court in support of the application of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act’s anti-discrimination protections to companies acting on behalf of employers. The lawsuit involves allegations that occupational health services provider U.S. Healthworks Medical Group illegally required job applicants to answer discriminatory and intrusive health questions on behalf of potential employers.
  • California Attorney General Bonta announced that his office secured a guilty plea against a yacht dealer for engaging in tax evasion which defrauded the state of more than $1.3 million. The defendant withheld sales tax revenue she obtained from her yacht sales and leasing companies for three years from the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration.

Colorado

  • Colorado Attorney General Weiser announced that his office’s proposed Colorado Privacy Act rules were published in the Colorado Register and on the Secretary of State’s website. The press release states that the Attorney General’s Office is seeking feedback from the public on the contents of the rules, in particular in areas such as definitions, personal data rights, opt-out mechanisms, entities’ duties, loyalty programs, consent, data protection assessments, and automated profiling.

Florida

  • Florida Attorney General Moody announced that her office is sending consumer protection investigators to Lee County, where many consumers do not have phone or internet access after Hurricane Ian, to help consumers report scams and price gouging during Florida’s state of emergency.

Massachusetts

  • Massachusetts Attorney General Healey announced that her office reached a $430,000 settlement with home health care company Allied Health Systems and its CEO, resolving allegations that they falsely billed the state Medicaid program for services that were  not authorized by a physician. The settlement also includes a mandatory three-year compliance program.

Minnesota

  • Minnesota Attorney General Ellison announced that his office entered a settlement with student loan debt relief company Total Rain, Inc., doing business as Student Aid Group, resolving allegations that the company illegally collected fees from and misrepresented its services to consumers. The settlement includes full consumer refunds and requires the business to stop operating in Minnesota.
  • Minnesota Attorney General Ellison filed a lawsuit against firearms dealer Fleet Farm for allegedly negligently selling firearms to straw purchasers. The lawsuit accuses Fleet Farm of aiding and abetting criminals and contributing to gun trafficking in the state. The lawsuit seeks injunctive relief, including strengthened oversight and training, as well as monetary relief, including disgorgement.

New York

  • New York Attorney General James announced the recovery of $3 million from luxury residential property developer Heatherwood Communities LLC, resolving allegations that it withheld prevailing wages and benefits from employees. These benefits and wages were required to be paid to the employees by the tax credit program through which the developer received tax emptions on two properties.
  • New York Attorney General James announced a $753,457 agreement with HQRC Management Services LLC, its owner, and affiliated dentistry locations. The settlement resolves allegations that the dentistry group performed and billed the New York and New Jersey Medicaid programs for medically unnecessary pediatric “baby root canals.”
  • New York Attorney General James announced a settlement with ambulance company Mobile Life Support Services, Inc., resolving allegations that the company unlawfully billed patients for emergency medical services through “balance billing,” or charging patients for the difference between their insurance payments and the cost of their services. The settlement includes a $100,000 penalty, full restitution plus interest, closure of all accounts with debt collectors, and updated billing practices.
  • New York Attorney General James announced a settlement with school bus company Hoyt Transportation, Inc., resolving allegations that the company excessively idled at bus yards, creating air pollution and health and wellness issues. The settlement includes a $38,850 penalty, monitoring, and an anti-idling training program.

North Carolina

  • North Carolina Attorney General Stein announced that his office won a consent judgment for over $23 million against debt collection companies Turtle Creek Assets Ltd., Turtle Creek Rentals LLC, Royal Park Holdings Inc., and their owner for conducting illegal debt collection practices and taking advantage of consumers. In addition to the monetary relief, the consent judgment bans the defendants from debt collection in North Carolina and includes several other requirements such as clearing negative credit lines, giving up property claims, and vacating civil judgments.
  • North Carolina Attorney General Stein announced that his office won default judgments that permanently ban two contractors who previously defrauded consumers from ever conducting home repair and contracting work in North Carolina. One contractor had misled consumers related to Hurricane Florence repair work, and the other contractor scammed elderly consumers over home repair work.

Ohio

  • Ohio Attorney General Yost filed a lawsuit against pole barn and garage builder Clear View Construction, LLC and its owner, accusing them of accepting over $174,000 from consumers but failing to complete and sometimes even start construction work. The lawsuit seeks consumer restitution, declaratory and injunctive relief, and penalties.

Washington

  • Washington Attorney General Ferguson announced the results of a consumer protection survey, which revealed that 59% of consumers in the state may have been unintentionally enrolled in a subscription service or plan while thinking they were making a one-time purchase. The survey also indicated that pre-check boxes are a large source of the problem and revealed that about 100,000 people may have been unable to cancel their subscriptions. The survey was part of Attorney General Ferguson’s Honest Fees Initiative and included responses from 1,207 adults.

West Virginia

  • West Virginia Attorney General Morrisey filed a lawsuit against a wedding planner and disc jockey for allegedly failing to provide advertised services to many clients in violation of the Consumer Credit and Protection Act and for failing to register her business with applicable state entities. The lawsuit seeks injunctive relief and maximum civil penalties.

Each week, Crowell & Moring’s State Attorneys General team highlights significant actions that State AGs have taken. Here are this week’s updates.

Multistate

  • President Biden announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is making $15 million available to state attorneys general to increase collaboration with USDA on antitrust enforcement. State attorneys general will be able to submit requests for funding and partner with USDA to secure America’s food systems through more rigorous enforcement of competition laws.
  • The Federal Trade Commission and a bipartisan coalition of ten state attorneys general filed a lawsuit against pesticide makers Syngenta and Corteva, alleging anticompetitive practices that have harmed farmers. The complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in the Middle District of North Carolina, accuses the defendants of using “loyalty programs” with pesticide distributors to exclude generic competitors from the market.
  • A multistate coalition of attorneys general submitted a letter supporting the adoption by three of the world’s largest credit card companies (VisaAmerican Express, and Mastercard) of a new merchant category code for the sale of firearms and ammunition that will aid law enforcement efforts to combat gun violence.
  • A coalition of 22 state attorneys general issued a letter in support of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ proposed rule to restore and strengthen anti-discrimination protections for vulnerable patients under the Affordable Care Act. The new proposed rule would rescind a Trump Administration regulation that rolled back essential anti-discrimination protections in the ACA for people who are transgender, have limited English proficiency, or are seeking reproductive care.

California

  • California Attorney General Rob Bonta, alongside Senator Susan Talamantes Eggman and Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins, applauded Governor Gavin Newsom for signing Senate Bill 1311. Senate Bill 1311 strengthens financial and legal protections for active duty service members, veterans, and their families.

Florida

  • Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody sent a memo to state attorneys in all 20 judicial circuits in Florida, outlining state law requiring that no defendant charged with a theft crime committed in an area under a declared state of emergency may be released prior to a first appearance hearing. Additionally, Attorney General Moody requests that state attorneys seek pretrial detention to the fullest extent possible for defendants who commit crimes during the current state of emergency.
  • Attorney General Moody warned Floridians about price gouging, disaster scams and fraud in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian.

Georgia

  • Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr issued a warning for consumers to be on the lookout for price gouging and scams in response to Tropical Storm Ian.
  • Attorney General Carr also released a consumer alert urging Georgia’s older adults and their caregivers to stay informed on how to recognize and avoid some common scams, including grandparent and virtual kidnapping scams, romance scams, law enforcement imposter scams, sweepstakes and lottery scams, utility scams, email scams targeting faith-based communities, and text message scams.

Illinois

  • Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul warned Illinois consumers to be on the lookout for flood-damaged vehicles that soon may be entering the used car market, which is facing shortages nationwide. Attorney General Raoul said while most automobile dealers are legitimate, there are some unscrupulous businesses and individuals who may try to sell flood-damaged cars without revealing a vehicle’s true history.

Indiana

  • Indiana Attorney General Rokita published a consumer alert about important consumer protection concerns for products recalled in September.

Missouri

  • Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced that his office has filed suit against a residential solar energy company, Power Home Solar, LLC, for violating the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act in selling solar panels to consumers across the country. The lawsuit against Power Home Solar, which re-branded earlier this year to “Pink Energy” amid allegations of improper sales practices, accuses the company of knowingly using defective components that both prevent its system from functioning properly and are at risk of catching fire while installed on consumers’ homes.

Montana

  • The Montana Department of Justice’s Office of Consumer Protection will be sending restitution checks totaling $96,258 to more than 350 people who were deceived by operators of an alleged tech support scheme. The money was relinquished by a Butte man who assisted scammers in India.

New York

  • New York Attorney General Letitia James delivered $2 million to Erie County to bolster consumer protection programs in Western New York. The funding comes from a previous action that Attorney General James took to shut down a predatory debt collection operation that preyed on consumers nationwide. The debt collection operation, comprised of companies including JPL Recovery Solutions, falsely threatened consumers with harsh consequences if they did not pay and inflated the true amount of debts owed.

Tennessee

  • Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti announced a consumer restitution program to provide refunds for cancelled “Fan Fest” events organized by Walker Stalkers, LLC. Consumers wishing to request refunds (either for tickets purchased or for fees paid to participate as a vendor) must act quickly, as this program will only accept claims for approximately 120 days.

Virginia

  • Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares publicized that Governor Glenn Youngkin’s declaration of a state of emergency has triggered Virginia’s anti-price gouging statutes designed to protect consumers from paying exorbitant prices for necessities during an emergency event. Enacted in 2004, Virginia’s Anti-Price Gouging Act prohibits a supplier from charging “unconscionable prices” for “necessary goods and services” during the thirty-day period following a declared state of emergency. 

Washington

  • Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a lawsuit against a Seattle business and its owner for preying on new immigrants by making deceptive promises to help them with legal assistance for immigration needs then later abandoning them in courtrooms after charging thousands of dollars.
  • Attorney General Ferguson announced that Washington state is set to receive the maximum $518 million under a resolution with three companies found to have played key roles in fueling the opioid epidemic. All 125 eligible local governments signed onto the half-billion-dollar opioid resolution stemming from Ferguson’s lawsuit.

Each week, Crowell & Moring’s State Attorneys General team highlights significant actions that State AGs have taken. Here are this week’s updates.

Multistate

  • A coalition of 14 attorneys general, led by Attorney General Kwame Raoul, filed an amicus brief in the case of Gregory T. Angelo, et al. v. District of Columbia, et al. supporting the District of Columbia’s prohibition on carrying firearms on public transportation, including its Metrorail transit system and stations. The brief argues that states have the authority to protect public safety by regulating firearms in “sensitive places” where they pose unique dangers.
  • A coalition of 21 attorneys general, led by Attorney General Rob Bonta, filed an amicus brief in Fund Texas Choice v. Paxton in support of a motion for preliminary injunction filed by reproductive rights advocates seeking to halt enforcement of several Texas anti-abortion laws. The coalition argues that Texas residents, as well as Californians, who are temporarily in Texas for school, work, or vacation, have the right to travel to pro-reproductive rights states to access legal abortions.
  • A coalition of 17 attorneys general, the District of Columbia, and the City of New York announced an agreement with the Biden administration’s Department of Energy that updates energy efficiency standards for 20 categories of common consumer products and commercial equipment, including residential furnaces, microwave ovens, room air conditioners and laundry machines. 
  • A coalition of 21 attorneys general announced an open letter to President Biden and the CEOs of American Express, Mastercard, and Visa denouncing their recent decision to allegedly discriminate against one type of vendor over another by adding new merchant category codes for gun retailers. The letter expressed concern that adopting a new sales code for gun stores would harm the constitutional rights of gunowners and potentially violate consumer protection and antitrust laws.

District of Columbia

  • District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine announced a lawsuit against Liberty Tax, for allegedly violating the Consumer Protection Procedures Act by engaging in deceptive advertising and predatory pricing practices. The complaint seeks an injunction, restitution, and civil penalties.

Massachusetts

  • Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey issued citations totaling over $51,000 to three Korean food stores for allegedly violating wage and hour and child labor laws. Peabody Losoon Park, Inc. dba Losoon Park, and its owners Losoon Park and Mili “Terry” Kim were issued nine citations for various labor violations including failure to pay wages, pay minimum wage and overtime, furnish and keep true and accurate payroll records, issue a suitable paystub, provide earned sick time, obtain a valid work permit for working teens, and for the employment of a minor past 8:00 p.m. without supervision. 
  • Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced that St. George Pharmacy and its owner, Atef Ayoub, allegedly engaged in a fraudulent scheme to bill the state’s Medicaid Program and other private and government-funded insurance plans for prescriptions for which they never possessed the inventory to fill. As a result, the pharmacy received approximately $442,000 in inappropriate reimbursement from various insurance plans.

Minnesota

  • Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced that Summit Management, LLC, the owner of nine manufactured home parks across Minnesota, agreed to comply with state law and retract eviction threats. Summit Management allegedly began conducting stringent and invasive inspections of residents’ homes across many of its parks. Following the inspections, Summit Management sent mass notices to residents with demands to perform time-consuming and expensive work on their homes. The Attorney General’s Office contacted Summit Management over what appeared to be multiple violations of Minnesota law related to manufactured-home park rentals and requested that the company cease and desist its eviction threats.

South Carolina

  • South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that the Securities Division within the OAG has filed a regulatory action against Nexo, Inc. and Nexo Capital Inc., (collectively, “Nexo”) a cryptocurrency interest account provider. The OAG alleges that Nexo violated the South Carolina Securities Act by offering and selling unregistered or unqualified securities in the form of its EIP accounts and that Nexo and its co-founders misrepresented and omitted material facts about the EIP accounts.

Each week, Crowell & Moring’s State Attorneys General team highlights significant actions that State AGs have taken. Here are this week’s updates.

Multistate

  • A bipartisan coalition of 35 state attorneys general, joined by the District of Columbia, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, sent Congress a letter urging it to allow attorneys general to enforce state and federal consumer protections for airline travelers. The state attorneys general make this request after receiving thousands of complaints from passengers claiming airlines have failed in their service responsibilities. Federal law places responsibility for addressing violations of airlines consumer protection with the U.S. Department of Transportation and state attorneys general have limited authority to hold airline companies accountable. The letter urges Congress to pass legislation that would repeal the federal bar on state attorneys general from enforcing the same state and federal consumer protection laws that apply to other industries.
  • A bipartisan coalition of 51 state attorneys general sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission urging it to require telephone providers that route calls across the United States telephone network to implement more rigorous measures to prevent illegal and fraudulent robocalls. According to the coalition, illegal robocalls cost consumers, law enforcement and the telecommunications industry approximately $13.5 billion every year. The letter expresses support for the FCC’s proposal to extend the implementation of STIR/SHAKEN, a caller ID authentication technology that helps prevent spoofed calls, to all “intermediate” phone providers in the United States. Further, the letter urges the FCC to require providers to adopt additional measure to cut down on illegal and fraudulent robocalls.
  • A coalition of 24 state attorneys general, led by Montana Attorney General Knudsen and Tennessee Attorney General Skrmetti, sent a letter to the Chief Executive Officers of three major credit card companies, American Express, Mastercard and Visa, alerting each that the recent creation of a Merchant Category Code for the processing of firearm purchases is potentially a violation of consumer protection and antitrust laws. The letter stated the monitoring and tracking of firearms purchases will create a “list of gun buyers,” which will generate risk that consumers’ information will be obtained and misused by those opposing Second Amendment rights. The letter asserts that the new Merchant Category Code is the result of transnational collusion between large corporations leveraging their market power to further desired social outcomes.

California

  • California Attorney General Bonta and California Assemblymember Brian Maienschein introduced legislation establishing various new protections for car buyers in Assembly Bill 2311. On September 14, California Governor Newsom signed Assembly Bill 2311. The bill addresses the sale and administration of guaranteed asset protection (GAP) insurance, an add-on product often sold by car dealers along with auto loans that allegedly offers little to no value to consumers. The bill will require creditors to automatically refund the unearned portion of a GAP waiver if a consumer pays off or otherwise terminates their auto loan early.
  • California Attorney General Bonta, alongside five district attorneys, announced an $8 million settlement with Safeway resolving allegations that the company violated state environmental laws while operating underground storage tank systems at 71 gas stations across California. An investigation into Safeway’s gas stations found a recurring failure to install, implement and operate various spill prevention and safety measures since at least March 2015. Safeway allegedly violated state laws regulating the operation of underground storage tanks and the handling of hazardous waste. The settlement includes injunctive requirements to improve operational safety and compliance with state laws to avoid potential contamination to soil and groundwater.

Connecticut

  • Connecticut Attorney General Tong and Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner Seagull announced an investigation into unfair and deceptive sales practices of Solar Wolf Energy, Inc., an Auburn, Massachusetts-based solar company, over failure to complete promised residential work. Solar Wolf in violation of the Connecticut Home Improvement Act and Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act allegedly charged high-priced deposits and failed to complete the contracted work, and failed to return those deposits to consumers for incomplete work. Solar Wolf failed to respond to an investigative demand, which led to a Superior Court order blocking Solar Wolf from selling, advertising, offering, or marketing goods or services in Connecticut until permission form the court is obtained.

Massachusetts

  • Massachusetts Attorney General Healey filed a lawsuit against a Haverhill, Massachusetts car dealership, Jaffarian’s Service Inc., d/b/a Jaffarian Volvo Toyota, for engaging in unfair, deceptive and discriminatory pricing practices against Black and Hispanic customers by illegally charging them hundreds of dollars more for “add-on” products when purchasing a car, such as paint protection, GAP insurance and remote starters. The complaint alleges the dealership gave staff full discretion to markup the prices of add-on products, and the sales history of Jaffarian suggest that Black and Hispanic customers were charged more on average. The alleged discriminatory sales practices resulted in more than $170,000 in improper profits for the car dealership in a two-year period.
  • Massachusetts Attorney General Healy announced a $12 million settlement with a national debt collection company and its subsidiaries for allegedly engaging in unfair and deceptive debt buying and collection in violation of state laws and the Attorney General’s Debt Collection Regulations. The assurance of discontinuance alleges that Encore Capital Group, Inc. and its three subsidiaries were collecting debts without sufficient proof that the debts were valid and accurate, using misleading collection tactics to obtain payments from consumers, harassing consumers and attempting to collect debts that were beyond the statute of limitations, among other allegations. The $12 million settlement includes $4.5 million in restitution to consumers and Encore Capital Group will cease collection on over 4,200 debts, totaling approximately $7.5 million.

Ohio

  • Ohio Attorney General Yost filed a lawsuit against Thrifty Propane, a Medina, Ohio propane supplier, for failing to deliver its products, not refunding consumers’ money and violating two prior consent judgments. Thrifty Propane was the subject of more than one hundred consumer complaints to the Attorney General’s office in 2022 alone. The lawsuit cites six violations of the Consumer Sales Practice Act for various deceptive business practices and seeks $25,000 for each violation as well as reimbursement to the damaged consumers.

Pennsylvania

  • Pennsylvania Attorney General Shapiro obtained a court order for more than $1.7 million in restitution against Omega Vehicle Services, LLC d/b/a Delta Auto Protect for violating consumer protection laws. Delta Auto Protect contracted with consumers nationwide for coverage of any necessary repairs, but when consumers attempted to obtain reimbursement for repairs, Delta Auto Protect would deny the claims and fail to honor their contracts. The court order prevents Delta Auto from operating in Pennsylvania or selling these types of contracts to Pennsylvanian customers, as well as provides for more than $2.5 million in restitution for customers, business restitution and civil penalties for each violation of consumer protection laws.