Business Fraud

Getting even, getting compensated

Quat Law Offices handles a wide variety of matters involving dishonest and fraudulent conduct by businesses and corporations. These include:

  • "Lemon law," warranty, and other motor vehicle issues
  • "Business opportunity" scams
  • False advertising
  • Excessive fees, charges, and penalties
  • Unfair or unconscionable contracts
  • Defective and dangerous products

Massachusetts has one of the strongest consumer protection laws in the nation. This law — often referred to as "Chapter 93A" — prohibits "unfair and deceptive trade practices." Chapter 93A covers a wide range of improper conduct by businesses. In addition, federal law provides remedies in certain situations.

Chapter 93A provides a powerful remedy for consumers. If it is proven in court that the conduct in question violated Chapter 93A, the consumer must be awarded damages plus costs and attorneys fees. In cases where the conduct is shown to have been willful or knowing, the damages must be doubled or trebled by the court.

Examples of results we have obtained in this area include:

Leasecomm Litigation
Leasecomm was a Massachusetts company which for many years leased business equipment — primarily credit card machines — to small and start-up businesses, most of whom resided out-of-state and had poor credit. All leases were "non-cancelable." When lessees stopped paying, usually due to problems with the equipment, Leasecomm added exorbitant late fees and collection charges and ultimately sued them in Massachusetts. Most of the cases resulted in Leasecomm obtaining default judgments. We aggressively defended these cases and were able to obtain releases and dismissals, and in some cases refunds, for hundreds of lessees. We were also able to settle numerous other cases for small percentages of the amounts allegedly owed. We also filed several class actions challenging the business practices of Leasecomm and several of its business affiliates, including Cardservice International, Galaxy Mall and E-Commerce Exchange (see below). We also cooperated with the Massachusetts Attorney General's office in its successful effort to bring about permanent changes in the company's business practices.

Garbee v. Cataldo Ambulance
(Suffolk Superior Court, Massachusetts)
This company was routinely charging interest on bills for ambulance services rendered to accident victims even though the injured persons never agreed to pay interest. A settlement was reached which ended the business practice and resulted in payment of substantial sums to class members and public interest health organizations.

Golchin v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Company
(Suffolk Superior Court, Massachusetts)
This class action contended that Liberty Mutual violated Massachusetts law by refusing to pay Medical Payments benefits (“MedPay”) to its insureds on the basis that medical bills had been paid or satisfied by health insurance. The case resulted in two favorable decisions by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, and a class action settlement was eventually reached after eight years of litigation.

Deke et al. v. Cardservice International, Inc.
(Los Angeles County Superior Court)
This case claimed that early termination fees imposed by a major credit card processor were excessive. A settlement on behalf of a nationwide class was obtained which brought about a significant change in the business practice, had a potential monetary value to class members in excess of $7 million (refunds and debt cancellation), and resulted in credit repair for class members.

Martin v. Axin Financial Services, Inc., et al
(Orange County California Superior Court) This case alleged that certain contracts purporting to be finance leases were unconscionable. A settlement on behalf of a nationwide class was reached which resulted in refunds and debt cancellation slightly in excess of $2 million, plus credit repair for class members.

Business Fraud Links