Hagens Berman Files Amended Complaint against Stericycle Inc.

Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, LLP has filed a first amended complaint against medical waste disposal company Stericycle Inc. alleging that the company misled its customers, including veterinary clinics, medical clinics and medical labs regarding pricing.

The first amended complaint, filed Nov. 12, 2013, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, claims that Stericycle systematically and regularly raised prices despite agreeing to supposedly fixed-price contracts. Furthermore, the suit alleges that Stericycle failed even to inform its customers about the price increases.

“Stericycle promised its customers fixed pricing, with rates locked in for the length of the agreement,” said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman and the attorney who filed the case. “Instead of honoring its word, it instituted automatic 18 percent price increases on a regular basis, without even warning its customers.”

The lawsuit details Stericycle’s electronic billing and accounting software system, called Tower, which was allegedly set to default to an 18 percent “automated price increase” (“API”) for “small-quantity” customers. According to the suit, those accounts made up 97 percent of Stericycle’s customers worldwide.

Following the imposition of the API, the suit claims, Stericycle’s customer service department received a large volume of complaint calls and customer service representatives were told to give false reasons for the price increases in order to get customers to pay. If customers continued to refuse to pay, representatives and customer retention personnel were instructed to give “price reductions” with the goal of getting customers to pay as much of the API as possible, attorneys claim.

Attorneys also claim that Stericycle also improperly increased prices by charging a number of fees and surcharges, labeled as fuel costs or environmental fees. However, the suit claims these charges were not connected to actual costs, which is why Stericycle often hid them from customers on invoices by bundling them with its flat fees.

The plaintiffs, represented by Hagens Berman in the case, include a diverse set of Stericycle’s customers, such as a veterinary clinic in Fayetteville, N.Y., a clinical laboratory in California, a dental practice in Miami, FL., a medical practice in Washington, D.C., and a plastic surgery practice in California, among others.

The suit charges the defendants with breach of contract and violations of consumer protection laws across a number of states. It asks the court to award damages to a class of Stericycle’s customers impacted by the fraudulent behavior alleged in the complaint.

More information is available at http://hbsslaw.com/cases/stericycle.

If you wish to join the case, please fill out the form on this page, which will send your information to our legal team handling the Stericycle case.

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About Hagens Berman
Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP is a consumer-rights class-action law firm with offices in nine cities. The firm has been named to the National Law Journal’s Plaintiffs’ Hot List seven times. More about the law firm and its successes can be found at www.hbsslaw.com. Follow the firm for updates and news at @ClassActionLaw.

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