Consumer Protection

HCA Healthcare Fraudulent Discount Billing

Health Insurance Fraud Investigation

Lieff Cabraser is investigating complaints that HCA Healthcare is overcharging patients by improperly applying its pay-now discounts. Under the pay-now option, HCA member hospitals give patients a 10% discount for making immediate payment during a hospital or emergency room visit. The charges are based on estimates, however, as the hospital doesn’t know the real charges until they send the bill to the patient’s insurer.

The alleged fraud occurs when patients overpay via those estimates — when the care ends up costing less than a patient paid via the pay-now option, HCA does not apply the discount to the overpaid amount. The chart below illustrates the problem as reflected in a sample procedure with an original estimated cost of $1,000 that is ultimately determined to cost the patient only $400.

Sample HCA Visit & Improper Pay-Now Overage Refund
Hospital estimate $1,000
Pay-now payment by patient $900 (includes 10% discount)
Adjusted visit cost $400
Amount HCA actually bills patient $400
Amount HCA should bill patient $360 (10% pay-now discount should still apply)
Improper overage to HCA $40

This is just a single example. Had the hospital’s original estimate been accurate, a patient opting for the pay-now discount would only have paid $360. But HCA ends up billing the patient $400 for the visit because HCA fails to refund properly. Patients allege the deceptive practice allows HCA to improperly pocket the 10% discount that should have been added to the refunded overpaid fee – 10% of the difference between whatever the hospital’s original estimate was and the actual visit cost.

While the individual improper overcharges can seem minor, when scaled across HCA’s 174 hospitals and 119 freestanding surgery centers any improper overbilling may reach into the millions.

Contact a Healthcare Fraud Lawyer at Lieff Cabraser

If you or a family member suspect you have been improperly billed after an HCA hospital or ER pay-now payment was reduced from the hospital’s original estimate, we welcome the opportunity to speak with you about your potential case. There is no charge or obligation involved in speaking with us, and the information you provide may substantiate your own lawsuit as well as helping us hold HCA accountable for any billing fraud or other financial improprieties.


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SoulCycle

Athletes working out in gym

Issue: Illegal Gift Certification Expirations
Result: Settlement valued at up to $9.2 million
Year: 2017

Lieff Cabraser represents consumers in a class action lawsuit alleging that indoor cycling fitness company SoulCycle sells illegally expiring gift certificates. The suit alleges that SoulCycle defrauded customers by forcing them to buy gift certificates with short enrollment windows and keeping the expired certificates’ unused balances in violation of the U.S. Electronic Funds Transfer Act and California’s Unfair Competition Law, and seeks reinstatement of expired classes or customer reimbursements as well as policy changes.

In October of 2017, U.S. District Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald granted final approval to a settlement of the litigation valued between $6.9 million and $9.2 million that provides significant economic consideration to settlement class members as well as meaningful changes to SoulCycle’s business practices.

The case is Cody v. SoulCycle, Inc., Case No. 2:15-cv-06457 (C.D. Cal.).

Fiat Chrysler Takata Airbag Recall Lawsuits

Airbag Recall Lawsuits

Deadly defects in 70 million Takata airbags have forced the recall of over 40 million vehicles worldwide. At least 19 deaths worldwide have been related to shrapnel firing out of malfunctioning airbags produced by Japan-based Takata Corp., thirteen of those deaths occurring in the U.S. alone. Numerous Fiat Chrysler vehicles from model years ranging from 2004 to the present — including many vehicles only recently added to the recall list — contain the potentially deadly devices and are included in the Takata airbag recall, including Chrysler 300, Aspen, Crossfire, and SRT8; Dodge Challenger, Charger, Dakota, Durango, Magnum, and 1500/2500/3500 Pickups; Jeep Wrangler; and Ferrari California, 458 Italia, 458 Spider, FF, F12, 458 Speciale, 488 GTB, 488 Spider, F60, and GTC4Lusso.

Contact Lieff Cabraser

If you own or lease a Fiat Chrysler vehicle listed below, then it likely has defective Takata airbags subject to an existing or upcoming recall. If you are concerned about the safety of your Fiat Chrysler vehicle and its airbags, please use the form below to contact Lieff Cabraser for a prompt and confidential evaluation of your case. You can also call us toll-free at 1 800 541-7358 and ask to speak with attorney Nimish R. Desai.


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Fiat Chrysler Jeep Dodge Vehicles Affected by the Takata Airbag Recall

Chrysler 300 2005-2015Dodge Magnum 2005-2010
Chrysler Aspen 2007-2009Dodge Ram 1500/2500/3500 2003-2008
Chrysler Crossfire 2006-2007Dodge Ram 2500 Pickup 2005-2009
Chrysler SRT8 2005-2010Dodge Ram 3500 Cab Chassis 2007-2010
Dodge Challenger 2008-2014Dodge Ram 3500 Pickup 2006-2010
Dodge Charger 2006-2015Dodge Ram 4500/5500 Cab Chassis 2008-2010
Dodge Dakota 2005-2011Jeep Wrangler 2007-2016
Dodge Durango 2004-2009

Ferrari Vehicles Affected by the Takata Airbag Recall

Ferrari 458 Italia 2010-2015Ferrari California T 2015-2017
Ferrari 458 Speciale 2016-2017Ferrari F12 2013-2017
Ferrari 458 Spider 2012-2015Ferrari F12tdf 2016-2017
Ferrari 488 GTB 2016-2017Ferrari F60 2016-2017
Ferrari 488 Spider 2016-2017Ferrari FF 2012-2016
Ferrari California 2009-2014Ferrari GTC4Lusso 2016-2017

Takata Airbag Problems and Airbag Recall Lawsuits

The recalled Takata airbags contain a dangerous propellant that can cause the airbag to explode, shooting metal casing debris towards drivers and passengers. The complaints charge that Takata knew of defects in its airbags long before the first recalls and that the auto manufacturers also knew or should have known that the airbags were dangerous and even lethal. Litigation is ongoing.

Legal Rights of Persons Injured in Unsafe Cars and by Defective Airbags

Automakers have a legal duty to produce cars and components that are safe, and promptly correct any known safety defects. Class action lawsuits are designed to recover economic losses purchasers of these defective vehicles have suffered. Plaintiffs are awaiting court approval of class settlements with five of the automakers, but the case against Fiat Chrysler continues. Please contact us if you are interested in exploring your legal rights against Fiat Chrysler.

Mercedes-Benz Takata Airbag Recall Lawsuits

Airbag Recall Lawsuits

Deadly defects in 70 million Takata airbags have forced the recall of over 40 million vehicles worldwide. At least 19 deaths worldwide have been related to shrapnel firing out of malfunctioning airbags produced by Japan-based Takata Corp., thirteen of those deaths occurring in the U.S. alone. Numerous Mercedes-Benz vehicles from model years ranging from 2005 to the present — including many vehicles only recently added to the recall list — contain the potentially deadly devices and are included in the Takata airbag recall, including Sprinter, Bullet, C-Class, E-Class, GL-Class, GLK-Class, ML-Class, R-Class, SLK-Class, and SLS-Class.

Contact Lieff Cabraser

If you own or lease a Mercedes-Benz vehicle listed below, then it likely has defective Takata airbags subject to an existing or upcoming recall. If you are concerned about the safety of your Mercedes-Benz vehicle and its airbags, please use the form below to contact Lieff Cabraser for a prompt and confidential evaluation of your case. You can also call us toll-free at 1 800 541-7358 and ask to speak with attorney Nimish R. Desai.


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Mercedes-Benz Vehicles Affected by the Takata Airbag Recall

C-Class 2005-2014GLK-Class 2010-2015
E-Class 2010-2012ML-Class 2009-2011
E-Class Cabriolet 2010-2017R-Class 2009-2012
E-Class Coupe 2010-2017SLK-Class 2007-2008
GL-Class 2009-2012SLS-Class 2011-2015

Takata Airbag Problems and Airbag Recall Lawsuits

The recalled Takata airbags contain a dangerous propellant that can cause the airbag to explode, shooting metal casing debris towards drivers and passengers. The complaints charge that Takata knew of defects in its airbags long before the first recalls and that the auto manufacturers also knew or should have known that the airbags were dangerous and even lethal. Litigation is ongoing.

Legal Rights of Persons Injured in Unsafe Cars and by Defective Airbags

Automakers have a legal duty to produce cars and components that are safe, and promptly correct any known safety defects. Class action lawsuits are designed to recover economic losses purchasers of these defective vehicles have suffered. Plaintiffs are awaiting court approval of class settlements with five of the automakers, but the case against Mercedes-Benz continues. Please contact us if you are interested in exploring your legal rights against Mercedes-Benz.

GM Takata Airbag Recall Lawsuits

Airbag Recall Lawsuits

Deadly defects in 70 million Takata airbags have forced the recall of over 40 million vehicles worldwide. At least 19 deaths worldwide have been related to shrapnel firing out of malfunctioning airbags produced by Japan-based Takata Corp., thirteen of those deaths occurring in the U.S. alone. Numerous GM vehicles from model years ranging from 2003 to the present — including many vehicles only recently added to the recall list — contain the potentially deadly devices and are included in the Takata airbag recall, including Cadillac Escalade, Chevrolet Avalanche, Silverado, Suburban, Tahoe, Sierra, and Yukon, and Saab 9-3 and 9-5 and Saturn Astra (full list below).

Contact Lieff Cabraser

If you own or lease a GM vehicle listed below, then it likely has defective Takata airbags subject to an existing or upcoming recall. If you are concerned about the safety of your GM vehicle and its airbags, please use the form below to contact Lieff Cabraser for a prompt and confidential evaluation of your case. You can also call us toll-free at 1 800 541-7358 and ask to speak with attorney Nimish R. Desai.


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General Motors vehicles with recalled Takata airbags (or with planned recalls):

Cadillac Escalade 2007-2011, 2012-2014GMC Sierra 1500 2012-2014
Cadillac Escalade ESV 2007-2011, 2012-2014GMC Sierra 2500/3500 2012-2013
Cadillac Escalade EXT 2007-2011, 2012-2013GMC Yukon 2007-2011, 2012-2014
Chevrolet Avalanche 2007-2011, 2012-2013GMC Yukon XL 2007-2011, 2012-2014
Chevrolet Silverado 1500 2007-2011, 2012-2014Pontiac Vibe 2003-2010
Chevrolet Silverado 2500/3500 2007-2011, 2012-2013Saab 9-2x 2005-2006
Chevrolet Suburban 2007-2011, 2012-2014Saab 9-3 2006-2011
Chevrolet Tahoe 2007-2011, 2012-2014Saab 9-5 2006-2009
GMC Sierra 2007-2011Saturn Astra 2008-2009

Takata Airbag Problems and Airbag Recall Lawsuits

The recalled Takata airbags contain a dangerous propellant that can cause the airbag to explode, shooting metal casing debris towards drivers and passengers. The complaints charge that Takata knew of defects in its airbags long before the first recalls and that the auto manufacturers also knew or should have known that the airbags were dangerous and even lethal. Litigation is ongoing.

Legal Rights of Persons Injured in Unsafe Cars and by Defective Airbags

Automakers have a legal duty to produce cars and components that are safe, and promptly correct any known safety defects. Class action lawsuits are designed to recover economic losses purchasers of these defective vehicles have suffered. Plaintiffs are awaiting court approval of class settlements with five of the automakers, but the case against GM continues. Please contact us if you are interested in exploring your legal rights against GM.

Midland Funding Unfair & Deceptive Debt Collection Practices Complaints

Lieff Cabraser is investigating numerous complaints about Midland Funding that accuse the company of unfair and deceptive debt collection practices involving high interest rates being charged without proper authority.

Midland is a corporation whose primary business is purchasing on a large scale defaulted credit card debt in order to collect on those past-due accounts. Midland is not licensed as a debt collector, and at least one Massachusetts court has agreed with a borrower that Midland could not go after their debt in the manner in which they were attempting to.

Contact a Consumer Lawyer at Lieff Cabraser Today

If you are facing collection on debts purchased by Midland Funding and are facing what you consider abusive or unfair debt collection practices, please use the form below or call us today at 1 800 541-7358. Lieff Cabraser’s consumer protection lawyers welcome the opportunity to review your case without charge or obligation. The information you provide will help us hold Midland Funding accountable for any improper and illegal practices.


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Volkswagen & Audi Takata Airbag Recall Lawsuits

Airbag Recall Lawsuits

Deadly defects in 70 million Takata airbags have forced the recall of over 40 million vehicles worldwide. At least 19 deaths worldwide have been related to shrapnel firing out of malfunctioning airbags produced by Japan-based Takata Corp., thirteen of those deaths occurring in the U.S. alone. Numerous Volkswagen and Audi vehicles from model years ranging from 2005 through 2014 contain the potentially deadly devices and are included in the Takata airbag recall, including Jetta, Passat, Golf, Eos, A3, A4, A6, Q5, R8, RS4, S4, S5, S6, and TT (the full list is below).

Contact Lieff Cabraser

If you own or lease a Volkswagen or Audi vehicle listed below, then it likely has defective Takata airbags subject to an existing or upcoming recall. If you are concerned about the safety of your vehicle and its airbags, please use the form below to contact Lieff Cabraser for a prompt and confidential evaluation of your case. You can also call us toll-free at 1 800 541-7358 and ask to speak with attorney Nimish R. Desai.


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Affected vehicles include the following VW vehicles:

CC 2009-2017Passat 2012-2014
Jetta SportWagen 2010-2014GTI 2009-2013
Golf 2010-2014Passat Sedan & Wagon 2006-2010
Eos 2012-2014

Affected vehicles include the following Audi vehicles:

TT 2016-2017S4 Cabriolet 2007-2009
R8 2017A4 Cabriolet 2006-2009
A3 2005-2013S4 Sedan 2005-2008
S5 Cabriolet 2010-2012S4 Avant 2005-2008
Q5 2009-2012RS4 Sedan 2007-2008
S6 Sedan 2007-2011RS4 Cabriolet 2008
A6 Sedan 2005-2011A4 Sedan 2005-2008
A6 Avant 2006-2011A4 Avant 2005-2008
A6 2005-2011A4 2004-2008
A5 Cabriolet 2010-2011

 Takata Airbag Problems and Airbag Recall Lawsuits

The recalled Takata airbags contain a dangerous propellant that can cause the airbag to explode, shooting metal casing debris towards drivers and passengers. The complaints charge that Takata knew of defects in its airbags long before the first recalls and that the auto manufacturers also knew or should have known that the airbags were dangerous and even lethal. Litigation is ongoing.

Legal Rights of Persons Injured in Unsafe Cars and by Defective Airbags

Automakers have a legal duty to produce cars and components that are safe, and promptly correct any known safety defects. Class action lawsuits are designed to recover economic losses purchasers of these defective vehicles have suffered. Plaintiffs are awaiting court approval of class settlements with five of the automakers, but the case against Volkswagen and Audi continues. Please contact us if you are interested in exploring your legal rights against VW and Audi.

Merrill Edge Bank of America Unwanted & Abusive Sales Calls

Pile of different modern smartphones.

Lieff Cabraser represents consumers across the US who have received unwanted and harassing sales calls and texts, including consumers who registered for the federal “Do Not Call” list.

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) prohibits abusive telephone practices by banks and other marketers, including placing strict limitations on calls made to consumers who have registered for the federal “Do Not Call” list. Companies that violate the TCPA can be required to compensate the consumers who received the improper calls. Lieff Cabraser has recovered over $300 million for consumers in class action TCPA lawsuits.

Customer Complaints About Merrill Edge BofA Telemarketing Calls

We are currently investigating complaints by Bank of America customers that they are receiving improper sales calls from Bank of America and Merrill Edge (or Merrill Lynch) representatives, including after they visit a Bank of America branch. Bank of America customers complain that they are being targeted with these calls even after expressly refusing in-branch offers and overtures, and even when they have registered for the federal “Do Not Call” list or told Bank of America they do not want to receive sales calls or offers. Customers also complain that the representatives who call them fail to clearly identify themselves and/or how they obtained their contact information.

Contact a Consumer Protection Attorney at Lieff Cabraser

If you have received unwanted sales calls from Bank of America or Merrill Edge (or Merrill Lynch), we invite you to call us toll-free at 1 800 541-7358 or use the short contact form below to connect with a consumer protection lawyer at Lieff Cabraser.

The information you provide will assist us in learning of the full extent of the alleged improper conduct, and in obtaining damages for affected customers. We will review your complaint for free and without any obligation on your part.


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Water Systems Overbilling and Utility Billing Inflated Water Rate Complaints

Detaill of a modern faucet head.

Lieff Cabraser is investigating widespread consumer complaints that Water Systems, Inc. and its subsidiary Utility Billing Services are overcharging customers by significant amounts for water provision in apartments across at least 30 states nationwide.

Water Services describes itself as cost management strategists for “uncontrollable and unpredictable” water expenses faced by apartment owners and managers. By adding extra meters that provide no other benefit to residents, the companies provide individualized “submetering” services for apartment owners. The tenants are then charged a $9.99 per month “billing fee” for the extra metering, and tenants and customers have complained that Water Systems and Utility Billing then routinely overcharge for water provided by amounts far in excess of the actual rates paid to cities and counties for water, inflated amounts tenants have estimated reach as much as 30%, on top of their monthly processing fees.

While not actually providing any value or gain to residents, Water Systems notes that its services are “unique, in that they are the only submetering company with electronic shut-off valves.” So when residents don’t pay their inflated utility bills, whether through a misunderstanding or error or any other reason, Water Services can shut their water off remotely right from their offices without even having to face the residents they are depriving of excessively priced water.

Contact a National Consumer Protection Lawyer at Lieff Cabraser

If you feel you are the victim of overcharging fraud by Water Systems or Utility Billing, we welcome the opportunity to speak with you about your potential consumer fraud case. The information you provide will help us hold Water Systems and its subsidiary accountable for any fraud or billing improprieties. Call us today toll-free at 1 800 541-7358 or use the form below to send us an email about your overbilling experience with Water Systems Inc. Any information you provide will be held in strict confidence, and there is no charge for our review of your case.


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Network Solutions Reinstatement Fee Complaints and Lawsuit

Network Solutions Reinstatement Fee Complaints and Lawsuit

Lieff Cabraser is investigating consumer complaints that domain name registrar Network Solutions is charging customers an undisclosed $35.99 (recently increased from $25.99) “reinstatement fee” to renew expired domain names. The reinstatement fee starts on day one of expiration, and is in addition to Network Solutions’ usual $37.99 domain renewal charge.

If Network Solutions has charged you a $37.99 reinstatement fee for the renewal of a newly-expired domain, you may have a claim. We urge you to contact a consumer protection lawyer at Lieff Cabraser for a free, no-obligation review of your potential case. The information you provide will help us hold Network Solutions accountable for any deceptive or fraudulent practices.

Please call us toll-free at 1 800 541-7358 or use the form below.


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Fiat Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ecodiesel Marketing, Sales & Products Liability Litigation

Diesel Pollution Fraud

Settlement Announced in Fiat Chrysler Diesel Emissions Fraud Case

On January 10, 2019, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV agreed to pay up to $884 million to settle claims that it illegally equipped diesel fuel-powered vehicles with software that enabled them to cheat emissions standards. Parts maker Robert Bosch GmbH agreed to settle its part in the litigation of creating the “defeat devices” with payments of up to $131 million. Under the proposed settlement, Fiat Chrysler will pay a $305 million civil penalty that will be divided between the federal government and California to settle claims FCA violated the Clean Air Act. The company will also recall the vehicles and fix the emission problems; that program could cost FCA another $185 million. FCA also settled with the consumers who filed a class action suit over the alleged emissions fraud in an agreement that could reach $280 million.

“By holding FCA and Bosch accountable for their diesel emissions cheating, consumers will now receive the vehicle they were promised plus cash compensation, while protecting our environment,” Elizabeth Cabraser, lead counsel and chair of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the class litigation.

Background on the Case

In January 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency accused Fiat Chrysler of using secret software to allow excess emissions in violation of the law for at least 104,000 diesel vehicles. The affected models include Jeep Grand Cherokees and Dodge Ram 1500 trucks with 3-liter diesel engines sold in the United States from late 2013 through 2016 (model years 2014, 2015, and 2016).

On March 15, 2018, Judge Edward M. Chen of the Northern District of California issued an order substantially supporting plaintiffs’ complaint against Fiat Chrysler’s attempts to have the suit dismissed, and directing the litigation to move forward. Read a copy of Judge Chen’s Order.

On June 19, 2017, Judge Edward M. Chen of the Northern District of California named Lieff Cabraser founding partner Elizabeth Cabraser as Lead Counsel for Plaintiffs and Chair of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in litigation against Fiat Chrysler brought by Jeep and Dodge owners over allegations the company bypassed diesel emission controls in nearly one hundred thousand vehicles. Ms. Cabraser also served in the same role in the recently-concluded case against Volkswagen for similar emissions violations in Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche vehicles.

Fiat Chrysler Diesel Pollution Fraud

If you own or lease a 2014-2016 diesel Jeep Grand Cherokee or Dodge Ram, your vehicle is likely emitting illegal levels of dangerous pollutants. Use the form on this page or call us toll-free at 800 948-2106 to contact a consumer protection lawyer at Lieff Cabraser for more information.

 

As reported by numerous news sources, the software’s usage produced excess nitrogen oxide emissions, with direct harmful effects on public health. EPA spokesperson Cynthia Giles noted, “This is a clear and serious violation of the Clean Air Act. There is no doubt [Fiat Chrysler] are contributing to illegal pollution.”

Contact Lieff Cabraser

If you purchased or leased one of the affected Jeep or Dodge vehicles, you are encouraged to contact a consumer protection lawyer at Lieff Cabraser. We welcome the opportunity to learn of your experiences with the vehicle and answer your questions. We will review your claim for free, confidentially, and with no obligation on your part. The information you provide will help us hold Fiat Chrysler accountable for their alleged violations of environmental protection laws and any deceptions perpetrated upon their customers.


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HCC Life Medical Insurance Fraud and Deceptive Practices

Health Insurance Fraud Investigation

Multi-State Class Action Lawsuit Against HCC Medical Insurance Services Filed in January 2018 in Indiana

On January 3, 2018, Lieff Cabraser and co-counsel filed a multi-state class action lawsuit in Indiana federal court alleging that HCC Medical Insurance Services, LLC HCC Life Insurance Company, and Health Insurance Innovations, Inc. (“Defendants”) have cheated the plaintiffs—consumers of short-term insurance plans who have incurred sometimes catastrophic medical expenses—by routinely and systematically refusing to pay promised insurance benefits, including through the common vehicle of post-claims underwriting. The named plaintiffs are residents of South Portland, Maine, Box Elder, South Dakota, and Post Falls, Idaho.

The complaint in the lawsuit alleges that Defendants’ marketing and claims processing procedures are purposely engineered and uniformly applied to accomplish the delay and denial of valid claims, rendering their short-term insurance products effectively worthless and violating federal and state law in the process. The lawsuit seeks monetary and equitable remedies for the class, including treble damages based on the fraudulent and damaging nature of the conduct, and an order requiring Defendants to immediately cease their unlawful, deceptive, and obstructive practices. Plaintiffs also seek the establishment of a common fund for the payment of medical expenses incurred by Plaintiffs and the Class as a result of Defendants’ practices. Read a copy of the press release announcing the lawsuit.

Earlier HCC Insurance Fraud Class Action Filed in 2017 in California

Lieff Cabraser, with co-counsel, represents HCC Life Insurance medical insurance policyholders in a proposed class action lawsuit filed in federal court in San Francisco against HCC Life Insurance and related parties (“HCC”). Plaintiffs allege that HCC has fraudulently marketed their insurance products and has perpetrated a scheme of delaying, refusing to pay, and/or obstructing policyholders’ claims in bad faith and in violation of California law.

The complaint also alleges that HCC markets short term medical insurance policies via outside brokers who, in addition to using common unscrupulous and dishonest sales tactics, falsely claim to be licensed insurance brokers. Plaintiffs allege that the policies are marketed to conceal a host of coverage exceptions not disclosed to consumers prior to purchase.

The complaint notes that multiple states have sent the company and its affiliates formal letters directing them to stop selling their fraudulent short-term insurance plans through unlicensed brokers and via misinformation and deceptive practices.

Contact National Fraud Lawyers at Lieff Cabraser

If you are an HCC policyholder and your claims have been denied or you have had insurance payments delayed by HCC, we welcome the chance to speak with you about your legal rights. Please contact us using the form below or by calling us toll-free at 1 800 541-7358.


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State Farm RICO Litigation

State Farm RICO Litigation

Hale, et al. v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., et al., Case No. 3:12-cv-00660-DRH-SCW.

On December 13, 2018, U.S. District Judge David Herndon of the Southern District of Illinois gave final approval to a $250 million settlement of the State Farm RICO case, wherein plaintiffs alleged that State Farm had secretly worked to help elect an Illinois Supreme Court justice in order to overturn a billion-plus dollar judgment against the company.

Background on the Case

In 1997, Lieff Cabraser and co-counsel filed a class action in Illinois state court, accusing State Farm of approving the use of lower-quality non-original equipment manufacturer (non-OEM) automotive parts for repairs to the vehicles of more than 4 million State Farm policyholders, contrary to the company’s policy language. Plaintiffs won a verdict of more than nearly $1.2 billion that included $600 million in punitive damages. The state appeals court affirmed the judgment, but reduced it slightly to $1.05 billion. State Farm appealed to the Illinois Supreme Court in May 2013.

A two-plus-year delay in that Court’s decision led to a vacancy in the Illinois Supreme Court. Plaintiffs allege that State Farm recruited a little-known trial judge, Judge Lloyd A. Karmeier, to run for the vacant Supreme Court seat, and then managed his campaign behind the scenes, and secretly funded it to the tune of almost $4 million. Then, after Justice Karmeier was elected, State Farm hid its involvement in his campaign to ensure that Justice Karmeier could participate in the pending appeal of the $1.05 billion judgment. State Farm’s scheme was successful: Justice Karmeier joined the otherwise “deadlocked” deliberations and voted to decertify the class and overturn the judgment.

In a 2012 lawsuit filed in federal court, Plaintiffs allege that this secretive scheme to seat a sympathetic justice—and then to lie about it, so as secure that justice’s participation in the pending appeal—violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (“RICO”), and deprived Plaintiffs of their interest in the billion-dollar judgment. Judge David R. Herndon of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois certified the class in October 2016, and the Seventh Circuit denied State Farm’s petition to appeal the ruling in December 2016 and again in May 2017. Discovery is ongoing, and a trial is set for September 2018. Just prior to the trial, on August 21, 2018, Judge David R. Herndon issued two new Orders relating to evidence and testimony to be included in the trial (see sidebar).

Investigación de las pólizas de seguro impostoras de Wells Fargo

Life Insurance Policy Alleged Fraud

Lieff Cabraser está investigando las reclamaciones de que Wells Fargo y sus empleados han contratado a clientes del banco por pólizas de seguro de vida no deseadas y no autorizadas (incluyendo las pólizas “MyTerm” emitidas por Prudential), y en algunos casos arreglando que deduzcan las primas mensuales de estas pólizas de las cuentas bancarias de los clientes. Estas afirmaciones siguen después de las revelaciones bien publicitadas, al principio de este año, de que Wells Fargo y sus empleados abrieron más de 2 millones de cuentas bancarias y tarjetas de crédito sin autorización de sus clientes.

Según los informes publicados, una investigación de llamadas registradas a las líneas de servicio al cliente de Prudential ha revelado aparentemente quejas de clientes de Wells Fargo sobre las polízas que ellos no recordaban de haber comprado.

Contacte un abogado de Protección al Consumidor en Lieff Cabraser

Lieff Cabraser es un bufete de abogados nacional que representa a consumidores en todo los Estados Unidos en juicios de fraude y prácticas engañosas, incluyendo casos que involucran prácticas engañosas de bancos y compañías de seguros.

Si usted es un cliente actual o antiguo de Wells Fargo, y sospecha que Wells Fargo o sus empleados pueden haber firmado una póliza de seguro de vida que no quiso o autorizó, le invitamos a rellenar nuestro formulario de contacto que sigue abajo.

La información que nos proporcione nos ayudará a conocer el alcance total de las presuntas prácticas, obtener alivio para los clientes afectados y detener la conducta impropia de las compañías en el futuro. Revisaremos su reclamación sin cobro y sin ninguna obligación de su parte.


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Prescription Drug Clawback Fraud

Prescription drug clawback fraud

Lieff Cabraser is investigating the widely-reported illegal practice of prescription cost “claw-backs,” where consumers and patients end up overpaying for medication with the overcharges going into insurance company pockets. As described in the news articles and television stories listed on this page, patient drug copayments often exceed actual medicine costs, with the extra money getting “clawed back” by insurance companies without the consumer ever realizing they’ve effectively been robbed.

Insurance policies often set drug prices, even when the market price for a given drug may be significantly less. Pharmacists are under court orders not to reveal to patients that this clawback scam is occurring, and consumers have no option but to pay the artificially inflated price — sometimes four or more times the true cost of the medication. Affected insurance plans include Medicare, ACA exchange plans, and employer-sponsored health care plans.

These clawback schemes are a huge factor in the high and ever-growing costs of health care as well as the absurdly inflated salaries of healthcare executives. The health care companies we are investigating over these alleged clawback practices include Aetna, Cigna, CVS Health (Caremark), Express Scripts, Humana Inc., Kaiser, Medimpact Healthcare Systems, OptumRx, Prime Therapeutics, and UnitedHealthcare.

Contact a Consumer Protection Lawyer at Lieff Cabraser

We are nationally-recognized consumer attorneys who have successfully challenged deceptive and illegal practices by rogue corporations in health care and other industries, protecting the rights of individuals and recovering over $4 billion for patients and consumers.

If you suspect you’ve been overcharged for prescriptions and may be a victim of these clawback schemes, we can help. Contact a lawyer at Lieff Cabraser today for a free, no-obligation review of your potential insurance clawback fraud case. Use the form below or call us toll-free at 1 800 541-7358. The information you provide will help us hold insurance companies accountable for these unconscionable and illegal practices.


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Wells Fargo Sham Insurance Policies Investigation

Life Insurance Policy Alleged Fraud

Lieff Cabraser is investigating claims that Wells Fargo and its employees have signed up bank customers for unwanted and unauthorized life insurance policies (including “MyTerm” policies issued by Prudential), in some cases arranging for the monthly premiums for these insurance policies to be deducted from the customers’ bank accounts. These claims follow the well-publicized revelations, earlier this year, that Wells Fargo and its employees opened up more than 2 million bank accounts and credit cards without customer authorization.

According to published reports, an investigation of recorded calls to Prudential’s customer service lines has apparently revealed complaints from Wells Fargo customers about policies they did not recall buying.

Contact a Consumer Protection Lawyer at Lieff Cabraser

Lieff Cabraser is a national law firm that represents consumers throughout the United States in fraud and deceptive practices lawsuits, including cases involving deceptive practices by banks and insurance companies.

If you are a current or former Wells Fargo banking customer, and suspect that Wells Fargo or its employees may have signed you up for a life insurance policy that you did not want or authorize, we invite you to complete our contact form below.

The information you provide will assist us in learning the full extent of the alleged practices, obtaining relief for affected customers, and stopping improper conduct by the companies going forward. We will review your complaint for free and without any obligation on your part.


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North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance

Life Insurance Policy Alleged Fraud

In March 2017, Lieff Cabraser and Montgomery Ponder filed a class action lawsuit based on allegations of fraud being committed on policy holders and beneficiaries of life insurance policies originally purchased from Booker T. Washington Insurance Company, Inc., Protective Industrial Insurance Company, and Universal Life Insurance Company in Birmingham, Alabama and Jefferson County any time prior to 2009.

The lawsuit was filed against North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company (NCM). In 2009, NCM took over more than 52,000 life insurance policies from the original companies.

A significant number of Booker T. Washington, Protective Industrial Insurance Company, and Universal Life customers had taken “policy loans” from those life insurance policies, loans managed by the original life insurance companies. When NCM took over the policies and the loans, NCM allegedly did not apply the interest rate specified in the loan documents to the policy loans and, instead, NCM allegedly applied an interest rate to all policy loans from the assumed policies that was, in some cases, higher than the agreed upon interest rate.

In addition, payments made on the policy loans were allegedly collected by NCM and not applied to the appropriate loans. Therefore, when life insurance proceeds were eventually paid following the death of an insured, NCM allegedly did not pay the full amount owed to the beneficiaries since the loan payments had not been applied to the appropriate loan balance.

If you purchased a life insurance policy from Alabama life insurance companies Booker T. Washington Insurance Company, Inc., Protective Industrial Insurance Company, or Universal Life Insurance Company in Birmingham, Alabama before 2009, and:

  • if you were a policy holder or a beneficiary of a life insurance policy and believe you may have experienced financial fraud based on incorrect interest rates on a loan, and/or;
  • if you believe or don’t know if you received an incorrect life insurance policy payout based on incorrect accounting of loan payments

our attorneys may be able to help.

Contact an Insurance Fraud Lawyer at Lieff Cabraser

Lieff Cabraser represents consumers in lawsuits nationwide against businesses for allegedly deceptive and fraudulent practices. If you are a policy holder or a beneficiary of a policy originally sold by Booker T. Washington Insurance Company, Inc., Protective Industrial Insurance Company, or Universal Life Insurance Company in Birmingham, Alabama, and you believe you have experienced financial fraud, we wish to learn of your experience. The information you provide will assist us in holding North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company accountable and stopping its alleged deceptive or fraudulent practices.

There is no charge or obligation for our review of your complaint. Call toll-free 1-866-313-1973 to speak with an attorney, or fill out the form below.


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Audi Carbon Dioxide Emissions Fraud

Vehicle Emissions Problems

Volkswagen has confirmed that certain Audi gas-engine models have software that distorts dioxide emissions levels, and Lieff Cabraser has filed a lawsuit accusing VW of using cheat devices in numerous gasoline engine Audi models to deceive consumers about Audi gas engine carbon dioxide emissions. 2014-2016 Audi A6, A8, Audi Q5, Q7, Audi S4, S5, S6, or S7 cars were discovered by California environmental authorities to be cheating on CO2 emissions testing, hiding carbon emissions implicated in global warming.

These new CO2 fraud devices are reportedly present in gas engine vehicles, similar to but separate from the Volkswagen and Audi diesel engines where similar deceptive devices recently led to a $14.7 billion consumer settlement.

Contact Us

If you own or lease a model year 2014-2016 Audi A6, A8, Audi Q5, Q7, Audi S4, S5, S6, or S7, please give us a call at 1 800 541-7358 or use the form below to contact a consumer protection lawyer at Lieff Cabraser. The information you provide will assist us in holding Audi and Volkswagen accountable for deceptive practices relating to carbon dioxide emissions from these and other Audi vehicles.


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More information about the alleged Audi CO2 Emissions Fraud

In the summer of 2016, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) discovered another software device installed on some of Volkswagen AG’s Audi models that may have allowed gasoline engine cars to cheat on carbon-dioxide emissions testing standards, hiding emissions implicated in global warming.

New CO2 Consumer Fraud Alleged Against Audi

The newly found cheat device is not the same as the device previously found to facilitate Volkswagen’s concealment of heightened nitrogen oxide emissions on diesel vehicles, and the new discovery was not initially publicly disclosed. Audi has not commented while the Justice Department continues new investigations into Volkswagen relating to the potential Audi carbon dioxide emissions deceptions.

As noted by multiple news sources including Green Car Reports, “the transmission enters a gear-shifting mode designed to deliver low CO2 whenever the car is started. The transmission only switches to a regular mode with higher CO2 levels if the steering wheel is turned more than 15 degrees, such as in regular driving. It’s only on a laboratory’s testbed where a car drives with zero inputs to the steering.”

The Volkswagen & Audi Nitrogen Oxide Diesel Emissions Litigation

In October 2016, Judge Charles M. Breyer granted final approval to a historic $14.7 billion settlement in the Volkswagen nitrogen oxide diesel emissions case, where more than 1,000 federal lawsuits were consolidated into one complaint against the automaker for its nitrogen oxide emissions “dirty diesel” vehicles, which emissions were observed in aftermarket testing to be as much as 40 times national environmental law limits. The settlement provides consumers with a choice of a buyback or lease termination on affected vehicles, modification to correct the unacceptable emissions, and cash compensation.


Equifax, Experian, TransUnion Authorized User Credit Rating Practices

Credit rating misconduct

Lieff Cabraser is a national law firm that represents consumers across the United States in fraud and misrepresentation lawsuits, including cases where consumers are mistreated or have their reputation or credit ratings adversely affected by improper bank and credit rating agency practices.

We are investigating reports that credit reporting agencies Equifax, TransUnion and Experian are assessing negative credit ratings against authorized users of various credit cards even though those authorized users bear no financial responsibility whatsoever toward the relevant credit accounts.

Cardholders commonly extend authorization so that their children or other family members may make purchases on credit card accounts, but such authorized users have no responsibility to make payments or for any other card account obligations. Nevertheless, cardholders report that Trans Union, Experian and Equifax have been illegally downgrading the credit scores of authorized users. These credit score downgrades can have a serious and long-term negative impact on such users’ abilities to secure future credit for the purchase of homes, automobiles, and other items.

Contact a Consumer Protection Lawyer

If you or a family member have had your credit score negatively impacted as authorized users on cards that were not your financial responsibility, the consumer attorneys at Lieff Cabraser would welcome a chance to talk to you about your case. The information you provide will be held in strict confidence, and will help us hold the credit reporting services accountable for any overreaching and illegal practices.


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Blue Shield California Consumer Fraud

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Lieff Cabraser is investigating complaints that Blue Shield of California is not properly paying back policyholders for its excessive administrative spending in 2014. If the State of California’s investigators find that Blue Shield did indeed underpay their obligations, the insurer will likely be forced to pay additional rebates to its customers.

This is yet another recent problem for Blue Shield, California’s third-largest health insurer, as it recently lost its tax-exempt status for its failure to deliver required public benefits, such as affordable coverage.

The company has over 3 million customers in California, and these newest allegations come in the wake of a series of administrative errors Blue Shield made as it extended its existing coverage in 2014 as part of the Affordable Care Act. The core of the current issue is a legal requirement that customer premiums go in major part toward actual patient care, and not to executive compensation and other administrative costs.

Contact a Consumer Fraud Attorney at Lieff Cabraser

If you are a Blue Shield policy holder under an individual plan — that is, you purchased your Blue Shield plan on your own, rather than through an employer — we urge you to contact us to discuss your potential case and recovery against Blue Shield. The information you provide will assist in further investigation, and will help us hold Blue Shield accountable for any improper conduct.

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