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Rutledge’s PBM U.S. Supreme Court Case to be Livestreamed on C-SPAN

Rutledge’s PBM U.S. Supreme Court Case to be Livestreamed on C-SPAN

Mon, Oct 5, 2020

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge’s U.S. Supreme Court case, Rutledge v. Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, will be livestreamed on C-SPAN on Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. central time to ensure the court is open to the general public. Due to COVID-19, the case will be argued by telephone. Nicholas Bronni, Solicitor General of the Attorney General’s Office will be arguing from Little Rock for the Attorney General.

“With arguments to be aired live on C-SPAN, all Americans will have the opportunity to hear how we are protecting local pharmacists who play the vital role as frontline healthcare providers in rural Arkansas and across the country every day,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Despite the delays, our critical fight to protect Arkansans’ access to affordable prescription drugs will finally have its day before the Supreme Court.”

In the U.S. Supreme Court, Attorney General Rutledge is supported by the U.S. Solicitor General and a bipartisan coalition led by California that includes 44 other states and the District of Columbia.

In 2015, PCMA filed a lawsuit to block enforcement of Act 900, which regulates pharmacy benefit managers, who act as prescription-drug middlemen, reimbursing pharmacists for prescription drugs dispensed to insurance beneficiaries. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas ruled in 2017 that Act 900 was preempted by the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act, and the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed that decision in 2018.

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Rutledge Announces Arkansas Joins Multistate Data Breach Settlement

Rutledge Announces Arkansas Joins Multistate Data Breach Settlement

Fri, Oct 2, 2020

Company to change its business practices to better protect consumer information

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced that Arkansas has joined a $39.5 million multistate settlement with Anthem stemming from the massive 2014 data breach in which cyber attackers were able to gain access to the personal information of 190,174 Arkansas residents. In total, 78.8 million Americans were affected by the breach. Arkansas will receive $205,524.91 from the settlement.

“Anthem is being held accountable for allowing hackers to take advantage and scam Arkansas families,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Arkansans need to trust their information is private and in good hands online. Settlements like this ensure companies take the necessary steps to protect sensitive data.”

In February 2015, Anthem disclosed that cyber attackers had infiltrated its systems beginning in February 2014, using malware installed through a phishing email. The attackers were ultimately able to gain access to Anthem’s data warehouse, where they harvested names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, healthcare identification numbers, home addresses, email addresses, phone numbers and employment information.

In addition to the payment, Anthem has also agreed to a series of data security and good governance provisions designed to strengthen its information security practices going forward. Those include:

A prohibition against misrepresentations regarding the extent to which Anthem protects the privacy and security of personal information;

  • Implementation of a comprehensive information security program and including regular security reporting to the Board of Directors and prompt notice of significant security events to the CEO.
  • Specific security requirements with respect to segmentation, logging and monitoring, anti-virus maintenance, access controls and two factor authentication, encryption, risk assessments, penetration testing, and employee training, among other requirements.
  • Third-party security assessments and audits for three years, as well as a requirement that Anthem make its risk assessments available to a third-party assessor during that term.

In the immediate wake of the breach, Anthem offered an initial two years of credit monitoring to all affected U.S. individuals.

In addition to this settlement, Anthem previously entered into a class action settlement that established a $115 million settlement fund to pay for additional credit monitoring, cash payments of up to $50, and reimbursement for out-of-pocket losses for affected consumers. The deadlines for consumers to submit claims under that settlement have since passed.

In addition to Arkansas, the settlement is led by Connecticut and signed on by the Attorneys General of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Missouri, and New York, and joined by the Attorneys General of Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

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Rutledge Files Suit Against Owner of The Iron Shop of Arkansas

Rutledge Files Suit Against Owner of The Iron Shop of Arkansas

Thu, Oct 1, 2020

Says, ‘Arkansans should be cautious of any business demanding upfront payments for projects or repairs’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge filed suit today against Robert Walley of Center Ridge and owner of The Iron Shop of Arkansas, for violations of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. Walley failed to complete the work that was agreed upon after requesting upfront payments for material to build ornamental iron fence projects for Arkansans.

“Arkansans should be cautious of any business demanding upfront payments for projects or repairs,” said Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “Let us do the fighting for you when dealing with businesses that fail to follow through on promises, correct mistakes or complete projects.”

Walley, doing business as The Iron Shop of Arkansas, sells and installs ornamental iron fences and other iron fixtures to consumers. Rutledge received seven unresolved consumer complaints since 2019 regarding Walley’s deceptive business practices. Consumers report Walley failed to complete work, provided inferior products differing from those ordered by customers, and failed to follow through on his promises to return to consumers’ homes to complete or correct projects. Other consumers have reported that Walley requested partial, upfront payments for materials and failed to purchase the materials or even begin the work.

Walley is not licensed to conduct residential home improvement work as required by the Arkansas Residential Contractors Board. He was fined and ordered to cease and desist conducting business by the Board on January 22, 2020, and June 24, 2020. Walley failed to attend either hearing.

Attorney General Rutledge filed the case in Pulaski County and is requesting restitution, civil penalties, injunctive relief and demands a jury trial.

Consumers who have been affected by the Iron Shop of Arkansas or experienced similar deceptive practices should contact the office at (800) 482-8982 or visit ArkansasAG.gov.

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Rutledge Sues Fayetteville Health Center over COVID-19 Immunity Boost Scams

Rutledge Sues Fayetteville Health Center over COVID-19 Immunity Boost Scams

Wed, Sep 30, 2020

Medical center fraudulently targets Latino community with expensive treatments

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced a lawsuit against Arkansas Regenerative Medical Center LTD (ARMC), the firm’s medical director Sarah Knife Chief, M.D., and chiropractor Serge Francois, D.C. for fraudulently promoting to Northwest Arkansas’s Latino community expensive stem cell and ozone therapies, costing upwards of $3,000, to combat COVID-19.

“I will not allow Arkansans to fall prey to fraudulent COVID cures, especially when the scams take advantage of a language and cultural barrier,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “This business preyed on public fear and targeted a minority community for personal gain. I will continue to work to hold accountable those who exploit consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

In early 2020, ARMC, Chief, and Francois used a popular Hispanic radio station and even employed the station’s DJ in an effort to reach Latino consumers, who were being disproportionately affected by the coronavirus. ARMC advertised on its website and Facebook page stem cell treatments and ozone therapy, claiming that they were “very effective” against COVID-19 and would allow employees to return to work more quickly. Consumers were charged upwards of $3,000 for the useless treatments. The CDC states there are no known drugs or other therapeutics presently approved by the FDA to prevent or treat COVID-19.

The lawsuit was filed in Washington County Circuit Court under the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. Rutledge seeks restitution for affected consumers, civil penalties, injunctive relief and other costs and fees incurred by the State of Arkansas in resolving this issue for consumers.

If you are a consumer who has been impacted by similar actions, Rutledge encourages you to contact the Attorney General’s Office at (800) 482-8982 or visit ArkansasAG.gov.

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Rutledge’s Statement on President Trump’s Nomination of Judge Barrett for U.S. Supreme Court

Rutledge’s Statement on President Trump’s Nomination of Judge Barrett for U.S. Supreme Court

Sat, Sep 26, 2020

Says, ‘resume, experience and deeply held faith make her the perfect selection for our country’

LITTLE ROCK - Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released a statement following the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Donald J. Trump.

“President Trump has once again nominated an exceptional legal scholar to serve on the nation’s highest court and protect our Constitution,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Judge Barrett has served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit since 2017. Before that, she distinguished herself as a constitutional scholar during nearly two decades as a respected member of the faculty at her alma mater Notre Dame Law School after clerking for Justice Antonin Scalia. Judge Barrett has published many articles in leading law reviews throughout the country. She has done all this while raising seven children. Judge Barrett’s resume, experience and deeply held faith make her the perfect selection for our country. I look forward to working with President Trump and the U.S. Senate to assist with getting Judge Barrett confirmed.”

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Rutledge Announces $60 Million Multistate Settlement with C.R. Bard

Rutledge Announces $60 Million Multistate Settlement with C.R. Bard

Fri, Sep 25, 2020

Settlement to bring almost $800,000 to State

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced a settlement of $798,453.00 from C.R. Bard, Inc. and its parent company Becton, Dickinson and Company for complications experienced by multiple Arkansas women. In total, the settlement brings $60 million to 48 states and the District of Colombia for the deceptive marketing of transvaginal surgical mesh devices. The settlement stems from women who suffered serious complications as a result of faulty devices, including erosion of mesh through organs, pain during sexual intercourse, and voiding dysfunction. Although use of surgical mesh involves the risk of these serious complications and is not proven to be more effective than traditional tissue repair, millions of women were implanted with these devices.

“Arkansas women have been deceived by what they believed were safe products by C.R Bard, Inc. and have experienced physical and emotional pain due to this oversight,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Women should be able to trust the medical products being used on their bodies and know their health and wellness will not be compromised.”

C.R. Bard and its parent company, Becton, Dickinson and Company, have agreed to pay $60 million to the 48 participating states and the District of Columbia. Although C.R. Bard stopped selling transvaginal mesh, the settlement provides injunctive relief, requiring both C.R. Bard and Becton, Dickinson and Company to adhere to certain injunctive terms if they reenter the transvaginal mesh market.

Under the terms of the settlement, the companies are required to:

  • Provide patients with understandable descriptions of complications in marketing materials.
  • Include a list of certain complications in all marketing materials that address complications.
  • Disclose sponsorship in clinical studies, clinical data, or preclinical data for publication.
  • Require consultants to agree to disclose in any public presentation or submission for publication Bard’s sponsorship.
  • Register all Bard-sponsored clinical studies regarding mesh with ClinicalTrials.gov.
  • Train independent contractors, agents, and employees who sell, market, or promote mesh, regarding their obligations to report all patient complaints and adverse events to the company.
  • Ensure that its practices regarding the reporting of patient complaints are consistent with FDA requirements.

Joining Arkansas in this multistate settlement are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

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