Hagens Berman Blog

Whistleblower News: AT&T, Fitbit, Tenet, Boeing

11/06/2019

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AT&T Gets a Wrist Slap for Lying About Its 'Unlimited' Data Plans

The US government has spent a decade feebly trying to stop carriers from lying about “unlimited” data plans. It’s not working.

For much of the last decade, wireless carriers have sold “unlimited” data plans with a wide variety of very obvious and annoying limits. And for just as long, regulators have doled out little more than ineffective wrist slaps in a bid to keep carrier marketing departments honest.

The latest case in point: AT&T this week struck a $60 million settlement with the FTC for repeatedly lying to consumers about the company’s unlimited wireless data plans.

Starting sometime around 2011, the FTC says AT&T began selling “unlimited” mobile data plans without disclosing they had very real, significant limits. In its complaint, the FTC says that AT&T would throttle customer mobile data connections by as much as 90 percent after customers used as little as two gigabytes of data—a far cry from “unlimited.” read more »

Fitbit users fear privacy invasion after $2.1bn Google acquisition

Fitbit says data of its 28 million users will not be sold or used for Google ads

Google’s recent acquisition of Fitbit for $2.1bn has left many users worried the tech giant may soon have access to their most intimate health information – from the number of steps they take each day to their breathing patterns, sleep quality or menstrual cycles.

Fitbit, founded in San Francisco in 2007, tracks the health data of 28 million users. In a blogpost following the acquisition on Friday, Fitbit claimed user data would not be sold or used for Google advertising. “Consumer trust is paramount to Fitbit. Strong privacy and security guidelines have been part of Fitbit’s DNA since day one, and this will not change,” the company said in a statement.

Still, dozens of Fitbit wearers complained on social media over the weekend about the Google takeover. “I tossed my Fitbit into the trash today,” one user tweeted. “I intend to sell my Fitbit and delete my account,” said another. read more »

Tenet agrees to settle Oklahoma hospital kickback case for $66 million

Tenet Healthcare Corp has tentatively agreed to pay $66 million to resolve claims it billed government programs for services provided to patients referred to it by doctors who had improper financial and kickback relationships with an Oklahoma hospital it owns.

Tenet disclosed in a quarterly filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday that it had reached an agreement in principle with the U.S. Justice Department to resolve claims first raised in a whistleblower lawsuit in 2016. read more »

Boeing CEO will forgo 'tens of millions of dollars' in compensation

Boeing Co Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg said on Wednesday he would forgo “tens of millions of dollars” in compensation after asking the company’s board of directors to waive his bonuses on Saturday.

Muilenburg received $23.4 million in total compensation for 2018 and came under criticism from lawmakers for not immediately taking a cut in his compensation following the Lion Air crash in October 2018. read more »