Going to Court

HIV-Positive Consumer Joins Lawsuit Against Pharmaceutical Giant Gilead Over Price Gouging

Los Angeles, CA -- An HIV-Positive consumer has joined a federal lawsuit against pharmaceutical manufacturer Gilead Sciences in a complaint alleging unfair and anti-competitive behavior in violation of multiple states’ laws, according to an Amended Complaint filed Friday in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

Final Briefs Filed in Lawsuit Against Insurance Commissioner Lara & Department of Insurance Over Pay-to-Play Records

Los Angeles, CA -- Consumer Watchdog filed its final briefs in a California Public Records Act (“CPRA”) lawsuit against Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara and the Department of Insurance. The CPRA suit alleges that Lara and the Department failed to search for and produce records related to a pay-to-play scandal involving insurance companies with business pending before the agency. 

CVS Can't Escape HIV Patients' Disability Bias Suit

By Patrick Hoff, LAW 360

August 8, 2022

https://www.law360.com/health/articles/1518877/cvs-can-t-escape-hiv-patients-disability-bias-suit

CVS Pharmacy can't avoid a proposed class action alleging its prescription drug benefits program discriminates against people with HIV and AIDS, as a California federal judge said the company's separate corporate entities can't shield it from federal health care law.

Discrimination Suit Brought By “John Doe” HIV-Positive Plaintiffs May Proceed, A San Francisco Federal Court Ruled Friday

Late Friday a federal court in San Francisco allowed a case against subsidiaries of CVS Health Corporation brought by HIV-positive “John Doe” plaintiffs to proceed, denying CVS’s motion to dismiss the case.

Suit Seeks Release of CDI Meeting Records In California ‘Pay To Play’ Lawsuit

By Dave LaChance, REPAIRER DRIVEN NEWS

July 18, 2022

https://www.repairerdrivennews.com/2022/07/18/suit-seeks-release-of-cdi…

A California consumer rights organization is asking a court to order Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara’s office to disclose records of all meetings with representatives of insurance companies involved in what it calls the office’s “pay-to-play scandal.”

Opening Brief Filed in Public Records Lawsuit Against Insurance Commissioner Lara & Agency Over Pay-to-Play Records

Los Angeles, CA -- Consumer Watchdog filed its Opening Brief in a California Public Records Act (“CPRA”) lawsuit against Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara and the Department of Insurance.  The CPRA suit alleges that Lara and the Department of Insurance failed to search for and produce records related to a pay-to-play scandal involving insurance companies with business pending before the agency.

Consumer Watchdog Urges California Supreme Court to Reaffirm “Organizational Standing” in Unfair Competition Cases

Los Angeles, CA -- Consumer Watchdog filed a “friend of the court” brief urging the California Supreme Court to reaffirm the ability of non-profit organizations and other groups to bring lawsuits on behalf of the public under California’s landmark Unfair Competition Law.

Class Action Lawsuit Filed In San Diego Federal Court Over Chrysler Minivans' Recall, Fire Risk Defect

By Staff Reporters, KGTV ABC TV-10 San Diego, CA

March 22, 2022

https://www.10news.com/news/local-news/class-action-lawsuit-filed-in-sa…

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A class action lawsuit was filed in San Diego federal court against Chrysler regarding a defect that allegedly causes its Pacifica minivans to catch fire and explode.

Allstate Price Optimization Hearing in California Scheduled for May

By Timothy Darragh, BESTWIRE

February 8, 2022

https://news.ambest.com/newscontent.aspx?altsrc=108&refnum=239697

Sacramento, CA -- A California administrative law judge has set a date of May 10 for an evidentiary hearing and possible motion for sanctions in a long-running case involving Allstate Insurance Co. and Allstate Indemnity Co. and allegations of price optimizing costing drivers an extra $1 billion.

Groups Commend CVS’s Withdrawal of U.S. Supreme Court Challenge To HIV Rights

Los Angeles, CA -- CVS Health Corporation’s dismissal today of an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court of a health care civil rights lawsuit involving the rights of numerous HIV-positive “John Does” should be commended, according to consumer groups and a law firm representing the plaintiffs.  The plaintiffs allege that CVS’s prescription drug program for obtaining HIV medications put their lives at risk.
 

US Backs Patients In High Court CVS Disability Bias Case

By Rachel Stone, LAW 360

October 29, 2021

https://www.law360.com/articles/1435636?scroll=1&related=1

Law360 (October 29, 2021, 8:19 PM EDT) -- The U.S. threw its support behind a group of people living with HIV who urged the U.S. Supreme Court to hold that federal law covers their discrimination claims against CVS, alleging their health plans' prohibition on getting specialty medication from local pharmacies unfairly affected them.

Public Records Act Lawsuit Tests Ricardo Lara’s Pledge Of Transparency

Los Angeles, CA -- Despite his pledge for “transparency” in the wake of a scandal involving a workers’ compensation insurer, Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara has refused to release or even search for public records of meetings and communications with key figures—including with his friend and political mentor, Former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez.

HIV Patients CVS Lawsuit Reinstated; Suit That Claims AIDS Patients Lost Medical Information, Guidance May Proceed, Court Rules

By Bob Egelko, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

December 10, 2020

https://www.sfchronicle.com/news/article/Suit-that-claims-AIDS-patients…

HIV/AIDS patients who said they lost access to potentially vital medical information when their health plans started requiring them to obtain their medications from CVS pharmacies can sue for discrimination, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday.

Ninth Circuit Reinstates HIV Discrimination Claims Against CVS Prescription Drug Mail-Order Program

Los Angeles, CA -- Today the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court decision holding that five “John Doe” HIV patients could pursue a discrimination claim against CVS Caremark for requiring HIV and AIDS patients to obtain their medications by mail-order or drop shipment to a CVS store.  

On World AIDS Day, an HIV+ Man Sues Doctor and Medical Group for Discrimination After Refusing to Provide Treatment

Los Angeles, CA -- An HIV positive man filed a discrimination lawsuit in federal court to coincide with World AIDS Day against a surgeon and medical group for refusing to treat him because of his HIV status.   

Download the lawsuit here: https://www.consumerwatchdog.org/sites/default/files/2020-11/SmithvPate…

Today is World AIDS Day, an annual event since 1988 to support those living with HIV and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness.

Lawsuit: Zoom Lied About Security Measures, End-to-End Encryption

By Ryan J. Farrick, LEGAL READER

August 14, 2020

https://www.legalreader.com/lawsuit-zoom-lied-security-measures-end-to-…

The lawsuit claims that Zoom never had end-to-end encryption, despite it telling customers that it did. 

Zoom is facing another lawsuit alleging that the video communications company has deceived consumers by making false claims about its privacy measures.

Zoom Faces More Legal Challenges Over End-to-End Encryption

By Tara Seals, THREATPOST

August 13, 2020

https://threatpost.com/zoom-legal-challenges-end-to-end-encryption/1583…

The video-conferencing specialist has yet to roll out full encryption, but it says it’s working on it. 

Video-conferencing behemoth Zoom has been hit with yet another lawsuit stemming from its claim to offer end-to-end encryption for sessions.

Zoom Sued for Misleading Consumers on Data Security Practices

By Andrea Vittorio, BLOOMBERG LAW

August 11, 2020

https://news.bloomberglaw.com/privacy-and-data-security/zoom-sued-for-m…

Zoom Video Communications Inc. allegedly misrepresented the level of security used to protect communications on its platform, giving users “a false sense of security” and violating D.C.'s consumer protection law, according to a new lawsuit filed there.

Transamerica Settles Lawsuit Concerning Increases in “Cost of Insurance” Charges

Los Angeles, CA – Transamerica Life Insurance Company has agreed to settle a class action lawsuit brought on behalf of policyholders across the United States alleging that Transamerica improperly increased themonthly charges that the company withdrew from the accounts of policyholders who own“TransUltra 115 98/99” or “TransSurvivor 115 97/98/99” “universal life” insurance policies.Transamerica increased the monthly deduction charges on those policies in October 2017 and June 2018, respectively.

Farmers Insurance Is Caught Overcharging Its Most Loyal Customers in Violation of Proposition 103

Los Angeles, CA -- Farmers Insurance systematically overcharged its most loyal, longtime California customers from 2008 to 2018, according to evidence uncovered as part of an investigation ordered by the California Insurance Commissioner. Now, with a public hearing scheduled for June and facing millions of dollars in civil damages and penalties, Farmers and its affiliate, Mid-Century Insurance, are urging a Los Angeles Superior Court to stop the agency’s investigation.

​​​​​​​Transamerica Life Settles Lawsuit Concerning Increases in “Cost of Insurance” Charges

Los Angeles, CA – Transamerica Life Insurance Company has agreed to settle a class action lawsuit brought on behalf of policyholders across the United States alleging that Transamerica improperly increased the monthly charges that the company withdrew from the accounts of policyholders who own certain “universal life” insurance policies.

Taxpayer Sues DWP and City for Illegal Transfer of Nearly $242 Million After L.A. Experienced Blackouts During Heatwave

UPDATE:  If you are a victim of a recent LA DWP blackout we want to hear your story. Please email us at: [email protected]

 

Los Angeles, CA -- A Los Angeles taxpayer filed a lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles and the Department of Water and Power (“DWP”) alleging that the City and DWP converted nearly $242 million in ratepayer funds into an illegal tax, according to Consumer Watchdog.

Insurance Goliath Sues Lawyers Representing HIV Patients For Aetna’s Own Privacy Breach

Los Angeles, CA -- This morning, health insurance Goliath Aetna sued the nonprofit Consumer Watchdog and Whatley Kallas LLP, a consumer law firm, who’ve sued Aetna for its improper and negligent disclosure of the HIV positive status of thousands of its members.  The disclosure was made as a result of Aetna’s use of a window pane envelope that was sent to communicate a member-wide business practice change Aetna agreed to make in order to resolve an earlier lawsuit brought by the consumer advocates.   

Current and Former Health Net Members in California May Submit Claims for Out-of-Network Medical Visits in 2014; Notice and Claims Forms Mailed Today

Los Angeles, CA -- Consumers who were enrolled in an individual or family Health Net Preferred Provider Organization (“PPO”) health plan in 2014, and received out-of-network care from a doctor, may be entitled to a payment under a proposed class action settlement. Claim forms must be submitted to the Claims Administrator by June 25, 2018.

CVS Disclosed HIV Status Of 6,000 Ohioans Putting Their Health And Safety At Risk

CVS, one of the nation’s largest pharmaceutical benefit managers, disclosed the HIV status of 6,000 patients enrolled in the Ohio HIV Drug Assistance Program (“OhDAP”), which provides assistance to low-income patients, according to a new class action lawsuit.

Download the complaint here.

U.S. Court of Appeals Rejects Hyundai/Kia Settlement of Fuel Economy Scandal

Santa Monica, CA -- The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected a settlement negotiated by Hyundai and Kia with dozens of plaintiffs law firms over claims that Hyundai and Kia vehicles did not get the miles per gallon promised by the companies. The problems with the vehicles were first revealed by Consumer Watchdog in 2012 and later confirmed by the Environmental Protection Agency. Vehicles owned or leased by an estimated 900,000 consumers nationwide were affected.

Aetna/Coventry Members May Obtain HIV/AIDS Meds at Retail Pharmacies, To Protect Privacy

SANTA MONICA, CA -- Under a recent settlement of two lawsuits, members of health plans issued by Aetna, Inc. and its subsidiary, Coventry Health Care, Inc., are no longer required to obtain their HIV/AIDS medications by mail-order and may obtain those medications at retail pharmacies. The class action lawsuits alleged that Aetna and Coventry’s requirement that members obtain HIV and AIDS medications by mail threatened their health and privacy.

Independence Day Reprieve For Hundreds of Thousands of Consumers Enrolled in Blue Shield Insurance Policies To Be Closed This Week

Commissioner Dave Jones Sides With Consumers, Echoes Concerns Raised by Consumer Watchdog in Lawsuit Over the So-Called “Death Spiral”
 
Santa Monica, CA – Consumer Watchdog praised Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones' announcement today opposing Blue Shield's plan to close 23 health insurance policies, and echoing concerns raised by Consumer Watchdog in a recently-filed class action lawsuit.

Blue Shield of California Sued for Pushing Policyholders into Bare Bones Coverage and Hiking Premiums

Santa Monica, CA – Blue Shield has used enormous rate hikes, and the threat of rate increases, to force patients into lower-benefit and higher-deductible health coverage in violation of state law, according to a class action lawsuit filed today by Blue Shield policyholders and consumer advocates.