New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on Tuesday announced a $2.4 million settlement with one of the nation’s largest medical waste disposal companies for improperly overcharging nearly 1,000 government entities, including the Ephratah Volunteer Fire Department.
“In these times of harsh budget cuts to education, public health and public safety, local governments and agencies need every available dollar and we will hold accountable corporations like Stericycle that use cynical schemes to rip off New York taxpayers,” said Scheiderman in a release.
Police and fire departments, schools, jails and hospitals were among those overcharged.
Stericycle implemented automated price increases without giving notice to these customers, which violated its contracts, according to the press release from the attorney general’s office.
As a result of the settlement, Schneiderman said every government agency affected will receive a check from Stericycle covering 100 percent of the overpayment. Overcharges totaled $820,000.
Stericycle will also stop automated price increases to government customers covered by the settlement and will provide the opportunity for customers to leave before future rate increases.
Agencies impacted locally that will receive compensation through the settlement for losses incurred as a result of Stericyle’s scheme include the Ephratah Volunteer Fire Department, which will receive $3,290.58, and the Montgomery County Correctional Facility, which will receive $1,799.66.
Other local government entities that will receive compensation are the Suco Health Center at SUNY Oneonta, the Midstate Correctional Facility in Marcy and the Gloversville Fire Department.
The settlement is part of a national whistleblower complaint filed in federal court in Chicago against the company’s overcharging by as much as 18 percent, according to the attorney general’s release.
“Stericycle improperly profited by overcharging New York taxpayers,” said Schneiderman.