Depending on the state in which they live, consumers sometimes have a hard time recovering the money they may have been deceived into giving to scammers who take their money and disappear, or to buy products that turn out to be harmful. Sometimes they can’t sue because they signed away their right to sue a company in their purchase agreement, or the amount spent is too small to justify the costs of an individual lawsuit. Other times they simply aren’t aware that the company has done something wrong. Regardless of the reason, it can be disheartening to see the number of consumers who are unable to recover funds lost as a result of scams or a company’s bad practices, but there is hope for those consumers.
One of the jobs of a state attorney general is to protect consumers against companies using predatory practices. Earlier this year Mark Brnovich, Arizona’s state attorney general, reported that his office had succeeded in recovering more than $38 million in restitution for consumers in 2019 alone.
Brnovich said the money has been recovered using a combination of out-of-court settlements, lawsuits filed (or backed) by the state, civil penalties, as well as costs associated with matters of consumer protection.
But the office of the state attorney general can’t protect consumers without the help of those same consumers. The state attorney general’s office relies on consumers, not only to notify them of potential scams and/or misconduct perpetrated by companies but also to provide evidence and testimony to help them pursue legal action, especially against large corporations. The Arizona state attorney general’s office reported having processed more than 14,000 written complaints, as well as 40,000 phone calls from consumers.
It’s a lot of information to go through, but it helped the Arizona state attorney general’s office bring legal action against large corporations, including e-cigarette manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies.
The e-cigarette manufacturers the Arizona state attorney general’s office has successfully sued to recover funds on behalf of consumers include Juul and Econsmoke. Juul is one of the largest makers of e-cigarettes, and Arizona is far from the only state to sue them for damages sustained by consumers as a result of their allegedly deceptive marketing practices that specifically target teens and young adults.
Illinois recently filed their own lawsuit against Juul, and California filed a lawsuit against the major e-cigarette manufacturer not long before that. The allegations against the startup include knowingly and intentionally targeting teens and young adults by advertising their products on social media and flavoring their e-cigarettes with sweet flavors that appeal to young adults and cover up the taste of nicotine. Juul has also marketed their e-cigarettes as a healthier alternative to cigarettes, even though the data shows e-cigarettes are at least as harmful, if not more harmful than regular cigarettes.
The liberal use of opioid prescriptions has also been detrimental to the health of entire communities, as well as the individuals directly impacted by opioid addiction. Consumers have long been calling for pharmaceutical companies to be held accountable for the ways in which they allegedly encourage doctors to prescribe opioids, so it should come as no surprise that the Arizona state attorney general’s office also pursued legal action against executives of various pharmaceutical companies, including Insys Therapeutics.
Illinois Attorney General and FTC Consumer Fraud Defense Lawyers
If you’re looking for highly experienced consumer fraud defense attorneys, talk to us at Lubin Austermuehle. In both attorney general and FTC offenses, clients have relied on our innovative and powerful defense strategies involving hundreds of millions of dollars in claims. We’ve handled well over 50 class action cases, including representation of national banks and one of the largest marketing companies in the U.S. With our dedication to relationships and results from Naperville to Schaumburg, we can offer a strong case for calling one of our three offices in Chicago, Elmhurst or Wilmette. Let’s discuss your needs during a FREE consultation. Call us at (833)-305-4933 or via our website by clicking here. We look forward to speaking with you.