Our Firm is investigating a potential class action lawsuit against Walgreens regarding suspected overcharges pertaining to copies for medical records.
Major United States pharmaceutical chain, Walgreens Company, has been accused of overcharging consumers for copies of their medical records. Our firm is investigating class action claims against Walgreens for overcharging consumers who seek to obtain copies of their medical records.
Headquartered in Deerfield, Illinois, the Walgreen Company is the largest drug retailer in the United States and, as of first-quarter 2014, Walgreen operated nearly 9,000 stores nationwide, as well as in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam.
Walgreens Medical Copying Fees In Excess of State Law
In at least one Walgreens lawsuit, Walgreens is accused of charging a consumer an exorbitant fee for copies of his medical records. Allegations include that Walgreens is in violation of state law.
In this lawsuit against Walgreens pharmacy, the man bringing the action was charged a flat fee of $55 for his records; however, according to the state law involved, companies are limited in what they are permitted to charge and are only legally allowed to charge:
- $24.81 in handling charges
- $0.93 per page for the first 25 pages
- $0.62 per page for the next 25 pages
- $0.31 for any more than 50 pages.
Walgreens lawsuits allege that the firm is perpetrating the “common scheme of fraud” and of failing to disclose that it had intentionally charged consumers for copies of medical records. Lawsuits against Walgreens also accuse the firm of trying to hide the fraud by presenting its fees in a vague, unclear manner.
The Walgreens pricing lawsuit includes allegations that Walgreens violates the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act and the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act; the action also alleges common law fraud and unjust enrichment against Walgreens.
State Laws In Place for Medical Record Retrieval, Copying
Copying medical records for authorized parties, such as patients, lawyers, and medical providers, is both time-consuming and costly; however, state medical record copy fee statutes are in place to offset some of these expenses. Noncompliance with state statutes has led to a number of Walgreens class action lawsuits and Walgreens lawsuit settlements involving significant financial damages.
Other similar pricing lawsuits have been brought against firms that were accused of charging excessive and duplicative amounts for copying medical records, as well as for overcharging consumers for electronic copies at the microfilm or microfiche, and not the paper rate.
Other Types of Walgreens Pricing Lawsuits
Attorney General (AG) Chris Koster announced an agreement with Walgreens to put an end to misleading advertising and the overcharging of consumers in its Missouri stores. The agreement resolves a Walgreens lawsuit he previously brought against the company for false, misleading, and deceptive retail pricing at one of Walgreens Missouri-based stores, according to a CCHeadliner report. The scheme involved routine overcharging of Walgreens’ customers.
Walgreens agreed to a settlement that involves monitoring of its stores for three years, until June 2017, by an independent auditor. The auditor will be paid by Walgreens, approved by the Attorney General’s Office, and required to audit no less than 25 percent of the firm’s Missouri stores every quarter. The auditors must check no less than 100 items per store to ascertain if advertised shelf tag prices are the same as the prices charged to consumers at the register.
All of the audited stores are required to have a 98 percent pricing accuracy rate to pass the audit. Stores that do not pass the audit will be audited the following month. If a second audit failure occurs, the store will undergo monthly audits until the 98 percent pricing accuracy is achieved for three consecutive months.
Walgreens must also pay a $1,500 penalty for every store that fails its first inspection, $3,000 for every store that fails a second inspection, and $5,000 for every store that fails a third or follow-up inspection. A Consumer Vigilance Award program is also being created as part of the settlement. Under this program, consumers will be compensated on a sliding scale for any overcharged item. Vigilance awards must be reported to the independent auditor quarterly.
Legal Help for Victims of Medical Record Copying Overcharges
If you or a loved one were overcharged for the copying of medical records, or were overcharged at the register for an amount that is greater than an advertised store price for any store product, you may have valuable legal rights. We urge you to contact our Class Action lawyers today concerning a potential Walgreens class action lawsuit by filling out our online form, or calling 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).