Ohio AG sues dental chain
COLUMBUS, Ohio (Legal Newsline) - Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine filed a lawsuit on Friday against the New York-based Allcare Dental for allegedly failing to deliver promised services after an abrupt 2011 closure.
Allcare was a national dental chain providing dentures and other dental services to consumers in multiple states, including 16 offices in Ohio. Consumers who were not able to pay cash for Allcare's services could apply for third-party financing arranged by Allcare but provided by separate companies. Most consumers applying for this financing had to pay in advance for a year of services.
The company closed all its Ohio offices and cancelled all scheduled appointments without advance notice to consumers on January 1. Most Allcare employees had no prior knowledge of the closure.
"When Allcare shut its doors, it left behind hundreds of Ohioans who had paid for dental products and services they never received," DeWine said. "In some cases, Ohioans went weeks and months without dentures, or they scrambled to retrieve their dental records and quickly find a new provider. We want to do everything we can to protect these consumers."
DeWine's office received over 940 complaints against Allcare, mostly involving a failure to deliver, disputing around $2 million in payments to Allcare. Although consumers have not received refunds from Allcare, some have received money from the third-party financing companies and some have successfully disputed the charges with their credit card providers.
DeWine's lawsuit alleges that Allcare violated the Consumer Sales Practices Act by failing to provide promised products and services and failing to provide refunds. The lawsuit seeks injunctive relief, full restitution for consumers and $25,000 in civil penalties per violation.