Los Angeles County DA’s Office – 8/19/2011
LOS ANGELES – CVS Pharmacy agreed to settle a $2 million consumer protection lawsuit alleging that the company overcharged customers for sale items and engaged in misleading advertising.
The civil complaint was filed Aug. 11 in Los Angeles County Superior Court by the District Attorneys of Los Angeles, Riverside and Ventura counties. The final judgment was signed this week by Judge Maureen Duffy-Lewis.
The complaint alleged that CVS employed misleading advertising by failing to provide an immediate discount for certain advertised items. An investigation also determined that between 2006 to the present the company, based in Rhode Island, routinely charged consumers more for items than the advertised sale price.
Under the terms of the stipulated judgment, CVS Pharmacy, Inc. agreed to pay $1.2 million in civil penalties and $420,000 in investigative costs. The company also agreed to contribute $300,000 to the state’s Department of Measurement Standards.
As part of the judgment, the company agreed to pay $100,000 to the Consumer Protection Trust toward enforcement of consumer protection laws. CVS agreed to the settlement without admitting liability and worked cooperatively in reaching a settlement with prosecutors.
CVS agreed to complete all corrective action with respect to advertising by Oct. 30. In addition, CVS agreed to initiate and administer pricing programs for a period of three years to ensure that consumers are not overcharged for their purchases. Prosecutors said the company will undertake weekly in-store price inspections to ensure pricing accuracy.
CVS also will implement a “Scan-right” program guarantee that will give consumers up to $2 off if an item has scanned at a higher price than advertised.
Media Contacts: Los Angeles County Deputy Dist. Atty. Carolyn Nakaki, (213) 580-3273. For CVS, Mike DeAngelis, Director of Public Relations, (401) 770-2645.