Articles Posted in Consumer Law

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Plaintiffs filed a class action alleging that the fees Defendant charged for providing copies of their medical records and billing statements were excessive in violation of Iowa Code 622.10(6). Defendant filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, alleging that section 622.10(6) did not apply to it because it was not a provider under the statute. The district court denied the motion to dismiss. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) an entity that acts as a provider’s agent in fulfilling records requests covered by section 622.10(6) cannot charge more for producing the requested records than the provider itself could legally charge; and (2) the well-pleaded facts in the petition indicated that Defendant acted as an agent of the providers by fulfilling the records requests on their behalf, and therefore, the district court was correct in denying Defendant’s motion to dismiss Plaintiffs’ petition. View "Young v. Healthport Technologies, Inc." on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs filed a class action alleging that the fees Defendant charged for providing copies of their medical records and billing statements were excessive in violation of Iowa Code 622.10(6). Defendant filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, alleging that section 622.10(6) did not apply to it because it was not a provider under the statute. The district court denied the motion to dismiss. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) an entity that acts as a provider’s agent in fulfilling records requests covered by section 622.10(6) cannot charge more for producing the requested records than the provider itself could legally charge; and (2) the well-pleaded facts in the petition indicated that Defendant acted as an agent of the providers by fulfilling the records requests on their behalf, and therefore, the district court was correct in denying Defendant’s motion to dismiss Plaintiffs’ petition. View "Young v. Healthport Technologies, Inc." on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs, former customers of West Bank, filed a multiple-count proposed consumer class action lawsuit against the Bank challenging one-time nonsufficient funds fees the Bank charged when Plaintiffs used their debit cards to create overdrafts in their checking account. Plaintiffs alleged usury claims and sequencing claims. The district court denied the Bank’s motions for summary judgment on the usury and sequencing claims but granted summary judgment on the Bank’s motion for summary judgment on Plaintiffs’ usury claim arising under the Iowa Ongoing Criminal Conduct Act. In a companion case issued today, the Supreme Court concluded that the district court erred in denying the Bank’s motions for summary judgment except as to the good-faith claim involving the sequencing of overdrafts. Likewise, the Court here found that the district court also erred in certifying the class action on all claims except for Plaintiffs' good-faith sequencing claim. View "Legg v. West Bank" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs, former customers of West Bank, filed a multiple-count proposed consumer class action lawsuit against the Bank challenging one-time nonsufficient funds fees the Bank charged when Plaintiffs used their debit cards to create overdrafts in their checking account. Plaintiffs alleged usury claims and sequencing claims. the Bank filed three motions for summary judgment asking the district court to dismiss all of Plaintiffs’ usury and sequencing claims. The district court denied the Bank’s motions for summary judgment on the usury and sequencing claims but granted summary judgment on the Bank’s motion for summary judgment on Plaintiffs’ usury claim arising under the Iowa Ongoing Criminal Conduct Act. The Bank filed this interlocutory appeal on the district court’s denial of its motions for summary judgment. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding that the district court erred in denying the Bank’s motions for summary judgment except as to Plaintiffs’ claim based on a potential breach of the express duty of good faith in the sequencing of postings of bank card transactions. Remanded. View "Legg v. West Bank" on Justia Law

Posted in: Banking, Consumer Law

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Patron won 185 credits, or $1.85, while playing a penny slot machine at a Casino. However, at the same time, a message appeared on the screen stating, “Bonus Award - $41797550.16.” The Casino refused to pay the alleged bonus, claiming that the slot machine game malfunctioned, and therefore, the bonus award displayed on the screen was not valid. The Patron filed suit against the Casino, asserting breach of contract, estoppel, and consumer fraud. The district court granted summary judgment to the Casino on all three counts. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the rules of the game formed a contract between the Patron and the Casino, and the Patron was not entitled to the bonus under those rules; (2) the Patron failed to prove the necessary elements of either promissory or equitable estoppel; and (3) the Patron failed to present proof of an ascertainable loss sufficient to warrant recovery on her consumer fraud claim. View "McKee v. Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc." on Justia Law

Posted in: Consumer Law, Contracts

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The Attorney General brought an action against Corporation, which sold memberships in buying programs giving members the option to purchase various goods and services at discounted rates, alleging violations of the Buying Club Membership Law (BCL) and the Iowa Consumer Fraud Act (CFA) and seeking civil penalties for consumer frauds committed against the elderly. The district court concluded (1) many of Corporation's marketing and sales practices violated the BCL and CFA; (2) Corporation did not commit consumer frauds against the elderly; and (3) application of the BCL to Corporation's solicitation practices did not violate the dormant Commerce Clause. The court awarded more than $25 million in consumer reimbursement, civil penalties, and attorney fees. The Supreme Court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and modified, holding (1) Corporation's telemarketing and Internet practices violated the CFA; (2) Corporation's solicitations and its memberships offering one or more discount features were subject to the terms of the BCL; (3) application of the BCL to Corporation's solicitations did not violate the dormant Commerce Clause; (4) affirmed the reimbursement award for BCL violations as modified; and (5) reversed the ruling that the State was not entitled to civil penalties for consumer frauds committed by the elderly.View "State ex rel. Miller v. Vertrue, Inc." on Justia Law

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Hawkeye Foodservice Distribution filed a petition for declaratory and injunctive relief against the Iowa Educators Corporation (IEC) and ten Area Education Agencies (AEAs) comprising IEC, seeking (1) a declaration that the operation of IEC was in violation of Iowa Code 273 and 28E; (2) equitable relief enjoining the AEAs and IEC from further operation in violation of Iowa law; and (3) injunctive and declaratory relief on the ground that the AEAs and IEC operate in violation of Iowa Code 23A. The district court granted Defendants' motion to dismiss, concluding (1) Hawkeye lacked standing to bring the chapter 273 and 28E claims; and (2) Hawkeye failed to allege sufficient facts demonstrating it was entitled to relief under chapter 23A. The court of appeals reversed. The Supreme Court vacated the court of appeals and reversed the district court, holding that the district court erred in (1) dismissing Hawkeye's chapter 273 and 28E claims for lack of standing, as Hawkeye's petition alleged facts that gave it standing to challenge the actions of the AEAs and IEC; and (2) dismissing the action, as the factual allegations set forth in the petition, if proved, stated statutory claims sufficient to defeat a motion to dismiss. View "Hawkeye Foodservice Distrib., Inc. v. Iowa Educators Corp." on Justia Law