Rutledge Sues Fayetteville Health Center over COVID-19 Immunity Boost ScamsWed, 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.
Rutledge’s Statement on President Trump’s Nomination of Judge Barrett for U.S. Supreme CourtSat, 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.”
Rutledge Announces $60 Million Multistate Settlement with C.R. BardFri, 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.
Rutledge Joins President Trump and Attorney General Barr for Discussion on Social Media CensorshipWed, Sep 23, 2020
Says, ‘it has become clear that these sites have actually been censoring speech based on political ideology’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge participated today in a roundtable discussion with President Donald J. Trump and U.S. Attorney General William Barr on censorship experienced by Americans using various social media platforms.
“Arkansans have been misled to believe that social media platforms are neutral sites. But it has become clear that these sites have actually been censoring speech based on political ideology,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “During today’s meeting with President Trump and General Barr we discussed how we can partner to investigate any deceptive trade practices under Arkansas law.”
The meeting follows Executive Order 13925, signed by President Trump in May that combats censorship of users by online platforms.
Rutledge Receives Junior Achievement Legacy AwardTue, Sep 22, 2020
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge received the Legacy Award from Junior Achievement of Arkansas (JA), honoring her visionary leadership in supporting the academic success of Arkansas’ youth. The purpose of Junior Achievement is to inspire and prepare young people for success in the global economy. The program is also dedicated to providing a positive and enriching learning experience while investing in more than 8,400 students in Central Arkansas. The Legacy Award recognizes individuals who display exceptional leadership in Arkansas.
“It is such an honor to be recognized by Junior Achievement, a fantastic organization on a mission to educate and make sure young people have the tools to take care of their communities,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “We want students to learn how to manage a budget early. Financial literacy is an important lesson Junior Achievement teaches kids from the classroom before they enter the workforce.”
Due to COVID-19, Rutledge accepted the award at JA’s Legacy Award Business Luncheon that was hosted virtually on Tuesday, September 22, 2020. It can be viewed on Talk Business and Politics’ website.
The Legacy Award was established in 2008 to honor visionary leaders who founded Junior Achievement of Arkansas in 1987. Along with Rutledge, AT&T Arkansas president Ronnie Dedman was also honored with the Legacy Award.
Rutledge Releases Statement on Passing of Justice GinsburgFri, Sep 18, 2020
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today released the following statement after the announcement of the passing of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
“Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg served our great nation for many years,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “She leaves behind a legacy that will know no boundaries. My prayers go out to her family and friends during this difficult time.”