The Connecticut Attorney General’s Office quietly filed suit this week in Connecticut State Court(download here) against American Future Systems, which does business under the name of Progressive Business Publications (and also Progressive Business Compliance). You won’t find a press release about it on Attorney General Richard Blumenthal’s website. Back in March, I had reported that the AG’s office started investigating the company due to its practices advertising its products.
Those who have been reading this blog for a while know that I wrote a series of posts about an e-mail and website page that PBC had regarding a somewhat obscure workplace poster. Ultimately, the company revised their website regarding this poster and I applauded the company for fixing the issue on their website.
But the suit filed by the AG’s office focuses not on the website, but on a facsimile that was allegedly sent out by the company in the winter with the heading "Connecticut Healthcare Advocate – Official Notice". The notice also says that the poster "lists employee’s rights to health insurance under Connecticut law" — which is nearly identical to the language that was used on their website.
A copy of the notice can be found attached to the lawsuit. The AG’s office alleges that this facsimile solicitation was misleading to consumers and violated Connecticut’s Unfair Trade Practices Act (called CUTPA).
It should be noted, however, that the name of Progressive Business Compliance is also found on this facsimile as well and readers can make their own determination about whether the facsimile is, in fact, misleading when viewed as a whole. (It should also go without saying that the lawsuit contains allegations, not proven facts.)
Interestingly, the lawsuit also alleges that PBC did not file the proper papers to transact business in Connecticut with the Secretary of the State’s office (Conn. Gen. Stat. 33-920a). In addition, the AG’s office has claimed that the facsimile was an improper unsolicited advertisement under Conn. Gen. Stat. 52-570c(a).
The Company has not filed an answer or appearance yet to the lawsuit.
In May, I did speak with an official from PBP and offered to post a statement from them. They declined the offer then and I suspect that they will keep their responses to court papers now that a lawsuit has been filed.
In the meantime, you can track the progress of the case via the court’s docket available here.