SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Hagens Berman, a leading consumer-rights law firm and lead counsel in the class-action lawsuit against Stericycle (NASDAQ: SRCL), today filed a motion to certify the class of Stericycle customers alleging that the company violated contracts and defrauded them by hundreds of millions of dollars through an automatic price-increasing scheme.
The proposed class includes small-quantity non-governmental entities that had flat-fee “Steri-Safe” or variable “transactional” contracts with Stericycle for medical waste disposal services whose prices were increased through Stericycle’s automated price increase scheme.
“These small businesses have been struggling for years from Stericycle’s automatic price increases, and we’re eager to certify this class to bring them restitution for what we believe to be outright fraud,” said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman and lead counsel representing the proposed class of consumers. “We have reviewed hundreds of thousands of documents, and our expert reviewed Stericycle’s entire customer database including hundreds of millions of transactions.”
The customers impacted by Stericycle’s alleged gouging practices include a wide variety of businesses that produce regulated medical waste, including veterinary clinics, medical clinics, dental practices and medical labs across the country. The small companies that contracted with Stericycle claim the hazardous-waste disposal company defrauded them by improperly raising their rates automatically by as much as 18 percent, contrary to contract terms. These regular rate increases occurred as often as every six months, and were programmed into Stericycle’s billing software, according to the complaint.
“With the help of our experts, we developed a method allowing us to identify every single class member and calculate exactly how much they were overcharged,” Berman added.
The original suit, filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on April 3, 2013, accuses Stericycle of illegally increasing the amount it charged customers by as much as 18 percent a year, while the contracts state that increases can occur only when “operational changes” are implemented “to comply with documented changes in the law” or to “address cost escalation.” According to the complaint, Stericycle’s billing software automatically boosted customers’ rates, regardless of any actual increases in Stericycle’s costs.
Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP is a consumer-rights class-action law firm with offices in 10 cities. The firm has been named to the National Law Journal’s Plaintiffs’ Hot List eight 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.