The maker of some nationally-touted flavored malt beverages, including "Four Loko," has agreed to alter its manufacturing and marketing practices as a result of a multistate agreement, Attorney General Bob Cooper announced today.
The Assurance of Voluntary Compliance Tennessee filed today on behalf of the Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs, is part of an agreement between 19 other Attorneys General and the City Attorney of San Francisco with Phusion Projects, LLC. Also named in the agreement were the company's officers Jaisen Freeman, Christopher Hunter, and Jeffrey Wright. At issue were allegations that Phusion marketed and sold flavored malt beverages, including Four Loko, in violation of various consumer protection laws by allegedly promoting Four Loko beverages to underage persons and promoting dangerous and excessive consumption of the products. The agreement also addresses allegations that the company promoted the misuse of its products without disclosing the effects and consequences of drinking alcoholic beverages combined with caffeine. Additionally, the settlement addresses Phusion's practice of manufacturing, marketing, and selling unsafe and adulterated caffeinated alcoholic beverages prior to the FDA's November 2010 letter warning Phusion that caffeinated Four Loko is an unsafe product...read the Four Loko release.
Tennesseans will begin receiving account credits or checks this week in a partial agreement resolving an E-book price-fixing lawsuit brought by Attorney General Bob Cooper and attorneys general from 32 other states.
The lawsuit, calling for $166 million nationwide payment, was brought against Apple, Inc. and five of the six largest E-book publishers in the country three years ago. Those E-book publishers are Hachette Book Group Inc., HarperCollins Publishers LLC, Simon & Schuster Inc., Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC, d/b/a Macmillan, and Penguin Group (USA) Inc. Tennessee's share is approximately $2.8 million The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York has now approved those agreements after finding they conspired to restrain trade in violation of federal and state laws...read the E-books release.
Intended to address widespread foreclosure abuses that occurred at the height of the housing crisis, the National Mortgage Settlement reached a major milestone this week. Joe Smith, the settlement monitor, announced that all five of the named banks have satisfied their consumer relief and refinancing obligations under the agreement. In total, the banks provided more than $50 million in credited relief nationwide, which translates to $20 billion in gross relief under the joint state-federal settlement.
Tennessee received an estimated $240 million in relief including $180 million in refinances, principal reductions, and approved short sales. Under the terms of the settlement, the majority of the credited relief went to help homeowners lower their mortgage payments and take them out of foreclosure. Over 4,000 Tennessee homeowners received some type of assistance under the settlement with an average individual benefit estimated at over $40,000...read the mortgage release.
On October 13, 2013 Attorney General Bob Cooper and the Division of Consumer Affairs announced that Tennessee was part of a multistate settlement with Connecticut-based Affinion, and its subsidiaries Trilegiant and Webloyalty. As a result of the settlement, Affinion agreed to pay over $30 million to settle allegations that they misled consumers into signing up and paying for discount clubs and memberships. The deadline for submitting those complaints to the Division of Consumer Affairs is February 14, 2014. Complaints should be sent to: Consumer Affairs 500 James Robertson Pkwy 12th Floor Nashville, TN 37243-0600...read the Affinion release.
Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper is urging all Tennessee residents who shop at Target stores to take advantage of one year of free credit monitoring being offered by the retail company in the wake of the massive data breach announced last month.
"I strongly encourage any Target customers to take advantage of this offer, regardless of whether they've identified suspicious activity in their personal accounts," said Attorney General Cooper. "Additionally, consumers should take the proactive steps of monitoring their bank account activity, and changing their PIN numbers and passwords. My office will continue to work on behalf of Tennesseans to ensure they receive all protections under the law in the wake of this nationwide breach."...read the Target release.
Tennessee has filed a lawsuit against various entities operating a 'timeshare' and membership vacation club that allegedly employs deceptive techniques to market their products, Attorney General Bob Cooper and the Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs of the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance (TDCI) announced today. Tennessee's lawsuit comes after a multi-state investigation of Festiva's sales and marketing practices. Maine and Louisiana each filed suit against Festiva during December.
Tennessee's Complaint alleges that Festiva operates a telemarketing and direct mail enterprise that uses fraudulent and deceptive tactics to lure Tennesseans into attending high-pressure sales presentations to buy vacation memberships. According to complaints reviewed by the Tennessee Attorney General's Office, consumers are misled into believing that they have won or been selected for a valuable prize, but to claim the prize, they must comply with many undisclosed requirements including a lengthy, high-pressure sales presentation...read the Festiva release.