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CVS pays $2 million in overcharging, misleading-ads suit settlement

August 19, 2011 | 12:36 pm

http://blogs.abcnews.com/photos/uncategorized/2009/05/04/ap_cvs_pharmacy_090218_main.jpg

Drugstore giant CVS Pharmacy has agreed to pay more than $2 million to settle a lawsuit alleging that the company took part in misleading advertising and overcharged customers for sale items.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Maureen Duffy-Lewis signed the final judgment this week after Los Angeles, Riverside and Ventura counties' district attorneys filed the civil complaint Aug. 11.

In the complaint, the Rhode Island-based CVS was accused of routinely charging customers more money for items advertised at a sale price since 2006. The complaint also said CVS used misleading advertising when it failed to provide an immediate discount for certain advertised items.

Per the terms of the judgment, CVS Pharmacy Inc., will pay $1.2 million in civil penalties; $420,000 in investigative costs; $300,000 to the California Department of Measurement Standards; and $100,000 to the Consumer Protection Trust to go toward the enforcement of consumer protection laws.

CVS will also create a three-year pricing program to make sure customers aren’t overcharged in the future, and conduct weekly in-store price inspections to make sure all prices are accurate. The drug store will also implement a “Scan-right” program guarantee where consumers will receive up to $2 off an item if it's scanned at a higher price than advertised.

CVS agreed to the settlement without admitting liability and “worked cooperatively” with prosecutors, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office said.

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--Kate Mather

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