Litigation Continues for Victims in Stericycle Price-Increasing Scheme
Oct 06 2020
Meyers & Flowers’ partners Ryan P. Theriault and Peter J. Flowers continue to represent victims nationwide that are seeking rightful compensation from Stericycle, Inc. The lawsuits allege unlawful and fraudulent billing practices whereby Stericycle inflated customers’ bills up to 18 percent biannually and then lied to its customers about pricing.
In 2013, a diverse group of plaintiffs including more than 246,000 dentists, veterinarians and other small business owners across the country filed a class action lawsuit against Stericycle, a Lake Forest, Illinois-based company providing medical waste disposal. Since that time, the company has been under fire for taking financial advantage of their clients. Medical practices and various other small companies seeking biohazardous disposal services were frustrated with how Stericycle was doing business after finding escalating fees that were not stated in their contracts.
Hard-working clients bought Stericycle’s flat-fee plan and agreed to long-term contracts to avoid future cost increases. To their surprise, they were subjected to undisclosed price increases and excessive fees with short timelines to end their contract before being renewed for several more years. The lawsuit states that customers experienced up to 18 percent biannual price increases on their fixed-price contracts without notice or justification from the company.
The disposal company used an electronic billing and accounting software system, called Tower. An investigation of their billing software found Steri-Safe customers’ accounts automatically set to increase the bills of “small quantity” or (“SQ”) customers every 6 months. The businesses affected by their fraud were the SQ clients that made up 97% of worldwide Stericycle’s clientele.
“The scheme alleged in this case was purposeful and intended to defraud our clients” said attorney and partner, Ryan P. Theriault. “We intend to hold Stericycle responsible for this conduct.”
When clients discovered the suspicious charges on their invoices, many flooded the phone lines of Stericycle’s customer service department to dispute their bills. The business owners were connected with representatives that were trained to give false information to explain the outrageous costs. Stericycle claims that the hidden fees in their invoices were based on operational fees and fuel costs. Although these external factors fluctuated, one element stayed consistent, the increasing services’ cost.
When the clients rightfully refused to comply and wished to end their contracts, the employees were instructed to give “price reductions” with the goal of getting customers to pay as much as possible. If the business owners refused, Stericycle threated collections and pursuing legal actions.
Numerous small business owners across the country contacted the Meyers & Flowers team to gain rightful compensation for Stericycle’s overcharging over many years. Partners Ryan P. Theriault and Peter J. Flowers have taken on their claims and have worked closely with the firm’s clients to hold Stericycle accountable for their unjust price increasing.
“Though they have paid hundreds of millions to some victims, Stericycle still refuses to accept responsibility for the harm to hundreds of our clients,” Flowers said. “We are prepared to litigate these matters fully and to have a Court tell them they must accept the consequences of their actions.”
Our team of experienced attorneys at Meyers & Flowers are here to help. If you or another have been injured, please contact us at 877-221-2511 or [email protected] for information about your legal options.