Friday, June 17, 2011

Ohio Attorney General Sues Allcare Dental Over Alleged Violations of Consumer Laws

Well, we knew this was coming after January's abrupt shut down of the Allcare Dental offices.
The Ohio Attorney General filed a lawsuit today against Allcare Dental & Dentures which alleges the company violated Ohio consumer laws after it abruptly closed its offices in January without providing dental products and services for which its patients had already paid.

The action comes after the attorney general's office received more than 940 complaints against Allcare, mostly involving failure to deliver, spokesman Dan Tierney said. In their complaints, consumers disputed about $2 million in payments to Allcare, he said.

Allcare, based in New York, unexpectedly closed offices in more than a dozen states in January. The closings included 38 Allcare offices statewide, among them two Columbus locations on W. Broad Street and E. Livingston Avenue

Allcare canceled all scheduled appointments with no notice to consumers, most of whom paid for a year's worth of dental services in advance, said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.

"In some cases, Ohioans went weeks and months without dentures, or they scrambled to retrieve their dental records and quickly find a new provider," he said in a statement. "We want to do everything we can to protect these consumers."

James M. McGovern, a Columbus-based attorney who represents Allcare, was unavailable for comment. The company posted its final consumer correspondence on its website,, advising consumers to seek services at their own cost if they are in need of emergency dental care.

Ohio is seeking restitution and a $25K fine ofr each violation.
If and when this issue makes it into court, there will be a bankruptcy filing and a restructuring of the company. The only restitution for the patients would be a possible criminal conspiracy indictment against the owners of Allcare Dental.

But, I doubt this will happen.

A failed business model is not a crime.

By the way, there is a lesson to be learned here for corporate dentistry and their patients.

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