Friday, August 24, 2012

Lawsuit Filed Against ASA Medical Billing, LLC and its owner for Pregnancy Discrimination


We filed lawsuit against ASA Medical Billing Services, LLC located in West New York, New Jersey on behalf of a client who was fired from her position as a medical billing assistant after she informed the owner of ASA Medical Billing, Angela Gonzalez, that she was pregnant.

 Our client alleges that one month after she was hired as a medical billing assistant, she discovered that she was pregnant. She then advised the owner of ASA Medical Billing of her pregnancy.

 
Our client alleges that the owner repeatedly asked her if she was "going to keep the baby.” That is, if she was going to have an abortion. When our client responded that she was going to keep the baby, the owner allegedly said several times "are you positive?

 One month later, our client did not go to work as she was feeling ill due to her pregnancy. The very next day, she went to work, but had to seek medical attention for work-related injuries caused by dizziness related to her pregnancy. After our client returned to work after seeking medical attention, ASA medical Billing and its owner fired our client.

Under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD), it is unlawful for an employer to take any adverse action against an employee due to her pregnancy. Firing or disciplining an employee because of her pregnancy constitutes illegal discrimination.

If anyone has any information related to this case, please contact us at your earliest convenience

CONSUMER FRAUD CASE AGAINST NEW JERSEY AUTOMOBILE DEALERSHIP FOR REFUSING TO TAKE BACK VEHICLE AFTER CREDIT APPLICATION WAS DECLINED

Plaintiff filed a consumer fraud case against a major New Jersey Automobile dealership for refusing to take back a vehicle after the lease financing fell through. The dealership gave the plaintiff possession of the vehicle without having the lease approved The plaintiff took possession of the vehicle subject to the following written condition: “I understand, that my purchase/lease from dealer is not yet final and is subject to credit approval by a financing institution selected by dealer as well as my compliance with all conditions set forth by said financing institution.”

When plaintiff’s application for credit was declined, the plaintiff returned the vehicle. However, the dealership refused to accept the vehicle and attempted to steer the plaintiff into lease terms with higher interest rates. The plaintiff refused.

The dealership refused to return the vehicle until plaintiff filed a complaint with the New Jersey Department of Consumer Affairs. The dealership then released the vehicle and unlawfully holding it for 50 days.

The plaintiff then filed a suit against the dealership for violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. The matter was resolved after the dealership agreed to compensate the plaintiff for the wrongful retention of plaintiff’s vehicle for 50 days and reimbursement of attorneys’ fees.

The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act (NJCFA) prevents any business from using or employing any improper, unethical, or unconscionable conduct is dealing with its customers. Violation of the NJCFA may subject the business to treble damages and reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Consumer Fraud Claim Against Large Automobile Dealership

We filed suit on behalf of our clients, husband and wife, against one of the largest automobile dealerships in New Jersey, along with the finance company, for fraud and misrepresentation, violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, violation of New Jersey Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Act, breach of contract, violation of the Duty of Good Faith and Unjust Enrichment, in connection with the purchase and financing of an automobile.

On November 26, 2010, our clients, who speak/understand very little English, went to the automobile dealership to purchase a vehicle. The purchase price of the vehicle was $13,595. The dealership then added on its own, without consent of our clients, a $4000 “Millennium package,” a $2300 “Service Contract and a $750 for “Gap Insurance.” Our clients indicated that they did not ask for nor want those items/services. Our clients then signed cancellation forms for the “Service Contract” and for the “Gap Insurance,” and were orally advised that $4000 for the “Millennium package” would be cancelled as well.

The dealership employees then prepared a retail installment contract dated November 26, 2010 without the $4000 “Millennium package,” the $2300 “Service Contract and the $750 for “Gap Insurance, which was acknowledged and signed by our clients.

However, without the permission, knowledge and/or consent of our clients, dealership employees then prepared a different retail installment contract containing the $4000 “Millennium package,” the $2300 “Service Contract and the $750 for “Gap Insurance, and forged our clients’’ signatures on the second retail installment sales contract, inflated the initial price of the vehicle from $13,585 to $15,020, then sent the second contract with the forged signatures to the finance company. Based on the forged second retail installment contract, the finance company provided a vehicle loan to the plaintiffs’ containing $10,954.44 in fraudulent/excessive charges and taxes.

The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act permits treble damages, reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs for conducts constituting an unconscionable commercial practice, fraud and misrepresentation. The New Jersey RICO also provides similar damages and recovery for racketeering activities. Punitive damages are separately available for forgery. Forgery is also a criminal act.

This case was resolved satisfactorily in a confidential settlement agreement.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Case Against Bergen County Home Improvement Contractor for Violation of Consumer Fraud Act

We brought suit against a Bergen County Home Improvement contractor (HIC) for violation of the Consumer Fraud Act (CFA) and the Home Improvement Practices in connection with the installation of an HVAC system in our client’s home (the homeowner).

The homeowner entered into a contract with the HIC to replace her existing HVAC’s heat pump inside the home and the condenser located outside of her home. HIC charged the home homeowner $5,995 for parts and labor in connection with the home improvement contract. They advised the homeowner to make the check payable to “cash,” instead of their business name, a violation of the Home Improvement Practices and the CFA.

The HIC did not provide homeowner with any written home improvement contract, in violation the Home Improvement Practices.

The HIC did not obtain any building, plumbing, electrical or any other permits as required by the Township of North Bergen, prior to, during or after the installation of the home improvements, in violation of the Home Improvement Practices.

The HIC did not provide the homeowner with a copy of any township inspection certificates after completing construction and prior to receiving final payment, in violation of the Home Improvement Practices, 13:45A-16.2. In fact, the HIC advised the homeowner not to contact the Township’s building department for an inspection.

The HVAC system installed by the HIC subsequently failed to operate as intended. The homeowner repeatedly attempted to communicate with the HIC to fix problem, but each time HIC refused to honor its service guarantees and failed to return the homeowner’s home to correct the defects.

The homeowner then retained another contractor to repair the unit installed by the HIC. The second contractor advised the homeowner that the heating system installed by the HIC did not have a heating kit as needed to generate heat. The contractor explained to the homeowner that the HIC’s installation of the HVAC system was analogous to “buying a car without an engine.”

After we filed suit against the HIC for violating the CFA and various provisions of the Home Improvement Practices Act, the HIC agreed to reimburse the homeowner all her out-of-pocket expenses, reimbursement of reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs, and reimbursement of funds paid to the second contractor.

The CFA permits the recovery of treble damages of ascertainable loss, plus reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs. “Ascertainable loss” in the context of a home improvement contract may be measured by the costs incurred in correcting a defect. However, even if there is no proof of ascertainable loss, the consumer will be entitled to the recovery of reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs if the contractor violates any provision of the Home Improvement Practices. The CFA was intended to encourage compliance with laws and regulations intended to protect consumers.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Pregnancy Discrimination Case Against Human Resources Consulting Firm

A pregnancy discrimination case was filed against a human resource (HR) consulting firm that publishes HR magazines for the corporate world. The HR company terminated our client's employment after she inquired about certain benefits related to her pregnancy. Our client was employed by the company for more than three (3) years. The company claimed that our client was fired because her position was eliminated, a claim often made by employers after termination. After less than 1 year of continuous denial of the claim, and vigorous defense in litigation, the company resolved the suit in a confidential settlement agreement favorable to the plaintiff.

Both Title VII and New Jersey Law Against Discrimination prohibits an employer from taking any adverse action against an employee (or potential employee) on account of pregnancy.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Race and Ethnic Discrimination Case Filed Against Jersey City Medical Center and Liberty Health Care Inc.

We filed suit on behalf of a client who currently is employed at the Jersey City Medical Center, which is part of Liberty Health Care, Inc.

Our client, who is Muslim and of Arab descent, claimed that over the last several years, various supervisors, managers and co-workers repeatedly referred to him as a “terrorist,” a “towel-head,” “camel jockey,” “bomb maker” and various other demeaning ethnic slurs, which were highly offensive to him and resulting in an extreme and hostile work environment.

Other verbal insults include asking the client if he has “...any explosives” on him; asking the client if he buys “C4 explosives” with his paycheck.

The Medical Center's position is that their anti-harassment policy shield them from any claims of abusive and hostile conduct, and that they properly investigated claims of discrimination. An employer's anti-harassment policy may not be sufficient the shield the employer from liability relating to discrimination under certain circumstances.

Please contact us if you have any information on this case.

Sexual Harassment Case Against NYC Restaurant

We filed suit on behalf of three restaurant employees who were terminated for complaining about their supervisor's sexual harassment of another co-worker. Title VII, New York State Human Rights Law, and the New York City Human Rights Law, prohibit an employer from retaliating against any employee who complains about discriminatory treatment to himself/herself or to another employee.
An employer may not fire, terminate, layoff, demote, transfer, reassign or otherwise take any adverse action against an employee for complaining about discriminatory treatment.

After almost 2 years of litigation, the restaurant agreed to compensate the fired employees for the damages they suffered as a result of unlawful termination.