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As we’ve discussed in recent posts, State Attorneys General often take positions on important consumer protection policy issues through a joint letter from the National Association of Attorneys General, often referred to as a “NAAG letter.”  This leads to the inevitable question – what is NAAG and what does it do?  As former State

Remington recently agreed to a groundbreaking $73 million settlement of claims brought by families of Sandy Hook school shooting victims. Notably, the plaintiffs secured this settlement by deploying consumer protection claims, which are exempted from the otherwise broad immunity provided to firearm manufacturers under the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (“PLCAA”).

Attorneys General now appear to be pursuing a similar strategy of using consumer protection laws against firearm manufacturers, including by using their authority to investigate the companies’ internal files. For example, litigation concerning the New Jersey Attorney General’s subpoena to Smith & Wesson demonstrates how AGs will seek to use their consumer protection investigative powers in this area and further how courts in response will continue to grapple with the intersection between consumer protection law, the PLCAA, and the Second Amendment.

On October 13, 2020, the New Jersey Attorney General served an investigative subpoena to Smith & Wesson pursuant to its authority under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act (“CFA”).The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs’ preliminary investigation suggested the company’s advertisements to New Jersey residents “may misrepresent the impact owning a firearm has on personal safety and/or safety in the home.” The Agency also noted that certain of the manufacturer’s advertisements “market the concealed carry of firearms while omitting the material fact that, in New Jersey, concealed carry of a firearm requires a permit.”
Continue Reading After Remington Settlement, Attorneys General Aim To Press Forward With Consumer Protection Investigations of Firearms Manufacturers

Last week, 49 State Attorneys General joined in a National Association of Attorneys General letter authored by Florida, Iowa, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee responding to the FTC’s Request for Public Comment concerning impersonation scams. While a bipartisan coalition from the State AGs on consumer issues isn’t particularly surprising, the call for additional federal oversight into

ICYMI: Momentum Continues with the Colorado Privacy ActLast week, the Attorney General Alliance hosted a seminar to address the Colorado Privacy Act (CPA)—what it does and how to prepare for its July 1, 2023 effective date. The seminar featured a discussion with the bill’s sponsors, legal experts, practitioners, and the Attorneys General for Colorado and Wyoming. As the third state to enact

Once Upon a Time in Federal CourtOn January 14, so called Pharma Bro Martin Shkreli was found personally liable for antitrust claims brought by the FTC and 7 State AGs. His company Vyera raised the price of medication Daraprim by 4000% after it purchased the drug. The parasitic brain infection the drug treats is especially deadly and according to doctors could only be treated with Daraprim. Shkreli then worked to prevent manufacturers from successfully competing in the generic drug market.

Although Shkreli’s prison sentence began in 2017, the court said he continued to exert his influence over the company, which in December agreed to pay $40 million for its part. The former CEO is now banned from the pharmaceutical industry for life. While a lifetime ban may seem like an extreme remedy, be mindful that State AGs don’t reserve this punishment for those in prison, and have imposed industry bans in other actions and industries. Shkreli has also been ordered to pay disgorgement to the states in $64.6 million. As part of his criminal judgment, he had already lost several assets including his prized Wu-Tang Clan album, a source inspiration for General James’ words of condemnation in her victory press release. Another executive Kevin Mulleady also settled, paying $10 million.

State AGs have been extremely active in the pharmaceutical antitrust space in recent years, including when it comes to generic drug pricing. Specifically, State AGs have alleged that generic drug manufacturers of topical products conspired to inflate prices and reduce competition.  Most of the State AGs have been investigating the practice since 2016, with defendants now numbering in the dozens in their 3rd Amended Complaint. The states are caught up in an MDL, but their bellwether trial on dermatology treatments will be the first up.
Continue Reading Once Upon a Time in Federal Court

Taking State AGs’ Temperature on Covid TestsConsumers across the country have been scrambling to get their hands on convenient and quick at-home Covid tests for weeks as the Omicron variant surge has gripped the country. With President Biden’s recent announcement that insurance plans will cover the costs of certain at-home Covid tests that started January 15 and the rollout of hundreds

In guidance released last week, the New York State Office of the Attorney General urged businesses to incorporate safeguards to detect and prevent credential-stuffing attacks in their data security programs.  The guidance stemmed from the AG’s finding that 1.1 million customer accounts at “well-known” companies appeared to have been compromised in credential-stuffing attacks.

Credential stuffing

State Attorneys General 2022 Predictions

State Attorneys General are already off to the races in 2022 – both with a significant number of election campaigns in full swing and an uptick in their consumer protection enforcement efforts.  As a result, State AG consumer protection topics will play a big part of 2022.  Our Kelley Drye State Attorneys General team

Some might have the mistaken impression that State AGs rarely delve into health related cases, believing them to be largely preempted by the FDA. However, these days there is little doubt that the Attorneys General are able to wield their Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practice laws with considerable weight in the health realm. As the

For the first time in two years, State Attorneys General and their key consumer protection staff have gathered in Washington D.C. to attend the National Association of Attorneys General Fall Consumer Protection conference.  For State AG staff in particular, this meeting, and its Spring counterpart, may be the most important and well attended event