Each week, Crowell & Moring’s State Attorneys General team highlights significant actions that State AGs have taken. Here are this week’s updates.
- Twenty-five attorneys general submitted a letter urging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to strengthen guidance and provide clear warning labels regarding incorrect pulse oximeter readings for patients of color.
- Attorneys General of Minnesota, California, North Carolina, and Tennessee joined the U.S. Department of Justice’s civil antitrust lawsuit against Agri Stats, Inc., “a company that organizes and manages anticompetitive information exchanges for meat processors across the United States.” The attorney generals noted that consumers in their states have been paying more for than they otherwise would for chicken, pork, and turkey.
- The first legal action of the bi-partisan Anti-Robocall Multistate Litigation Task Force is against Avid Telecom over its “bombardment” of Americans with billions of illegal robocalls. The lawsuit is led by Ohio, Arizona, Indiana and North Carolina, and joined by 44 other states and the District of Columbia. Attorney General Andrew Bailey of Missouri filed suit against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for their approval of shipment of abortion pills by mail. He is joined in the lawsuit by the Attorneys General of Idaho and Kansas.
- A coalition of fifteen state attorneys general submitted a comment letter supporting the Biden Administration’s proposed rule that establishes extensive staffing requirements for skilled nursing facilities.). California Attorney General Rob Bonta said that, “[e]liminating staff shortages that plague nursing homes is a crucial step to ensuring patients receive the quality care they deserve.” Massachusetts Attorney General Andrea Joy Campbell and New York Attorney General Leticia James are co-leading this effort with General Bonta.
- The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration worked with law enforcement to arraign and file charges against two defendants in a multi-million-dollar embezzlement and tax fraud scheme in San Bernardino County, California. Investigators stated that the embezzlement scheme, which ran from 2018 to 2021, involved one of the defendants stealing from customers in his dealership by placing their high-value vehicles on consignment, and sometimes persuading them to leave their titles at the dealership. Defendant Clayton Thom, who operated a high-end automobile dealership, was allegedly involved in the theft of over $4 million from 35 victims and charged with 37 counts of grand theft and one count of elder theft. Thom and his business manager, Valerie Tanaka, were charged with 13 counts of tax fraud for allegedly defrauding the State of California of more than $4 million in taxes.
- Attorney General Rob Bonta released the second data report by California’s Department of Justice’s Office of Gun Violence Prevention, which provided in-depth research in the correlation between domestic violence and firearms usage. Several non-profit groups dedicated to gun control noted how California has made significant progress in protecting domestic abuse survivors from gun violence, and that this research publication was the latest step towards preventing domestic abuse by gun violence.
- Chargebacks911 must pay $100,000 in civil penalties and $50,000 in legal costs to the State of Florida following Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Consumer Protection Division’s successful settlement. In April, her office and the Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint alleging that Chargebacks911 “sent misleading or inaccurate materials to credit card companies on behalf of clients, including screenshots of websites different than the ones visited by consumers.”
- A series of Dunkin’ Donut franchises were found to violate child labor laws. Three franchisees, who own and operate between them 25 Dunkin’ locations reached a combined settlement of $1 million. The violations include “requiring minors to work more than six hours a day without a meal break, employing a minor after 8:00 pm without an adult supervisor, employment of a minor past the latest permissible hour, employing a minor for more than the maximum numbers allowed in a day, and minors working without a work permit.”
- Uber will have to pay $290 million in the largest backpay settlement ever won by the New York Office of the Attorney General. The settlement also institutes a minimum driver “earnings floor,” paid sick leave, hiring and earning notices, and other improvements.
- Attorney General Josh Stein issued a statement regarding the federal lawsuit challenging JetBlue Airways’ proposed acquisition of Spirit Airlines, noting that he would “continue to do everything” in his power to “protect North Carolinians’ ability to fly affordably and conveniently.”