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AGO News Releases for 2003
SEATTLE - The checks are in the mail today for 10,419 Washington consumers who were overcharged for home loans by Household International.
SEATTLE -- Attorney General Christine Gregoire today announced a plan for distributing approximately $37 million the state will receive over the next 20 years from antitrust settlements with two major energy companies, Williams Energy and El Paso Energy.
Olympia -The state has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision that ruled Washington's blanket primary unconstitutional, Attorney General Christine Gregoire announced today.
SEATTLE- A Seattle roofing-products manufacturer has agreed to pay restitution to hundreds of Washington consumers who purchased defective HO-25 or Horizon Shingles from the company between January 1990 and the present, Attorney General Christine Gregoire announced today.
SEATTLE -- Millions of dollars are still available to consumers who used the cancer drug Taxol or its generic equivalent, paclitaxel from January 1, 1999 through February 28, 2003.
TACOMA -- The top state and federal law enforcement officials in Washington announced today that an extensive investigation at Tacoma Police Department found no grounds for criminal charges but abundant evidence of troubling management issues in the agency.
Olympia -11/10/03- Major tobacco companies have agreed to remove cigarette and smokeless tobacco advertisements from the editions of Time, Newsweek, and U.S. News and World Report that are sent into classrooms for use by students, according to Attorney General Christine Gregoire.
November 5, 2003 > Gregoire Surgery Successful
OLYMPIA -- Washington Attorney General Christine Gregoire has undergone successful surgery at St. Peter Hospital in Olympia.
OLYMPIA - Today's state Supreme Court decision upholding Initiative 776 will help the drafters of future initiatives by clarifying the state constitutional requirement that initiatives contain only a single subject, Attorney General Christine Gregoire said.
SEATTLE - The Attorney General's Office today warned residents of the Seattle area and Southwest Washington to be wary of lottery scam artists who are using unfair and high-pressure sales tactics on vulnerable elderly citizens.
OLYMPIA -- Attorney General Christine Gregoire today joined several other states, cities, and environment groups in challenging the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) failure to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases under the federal Clean Air Act.
SEATTLE - The Attorney General's High Tech Unit has filed a lawsuit in King County Superior Court against a California-based spammer who sells printing supplies over the Internet.
10.20.03 SPOKANE - the Attorney General's Office today issued a warning to Eastern Washington residents to be wary of vacuum cleaner sales people who are using unfair and high-pressure sales tactics on vulnerable elderly citizens.
OLYMPIA - The Attorney General's Office, AARP and the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) today said they plan to send thousands of trained volunteers around Washington to combat fraud against senior citizens.
Olympia - Washington has received $1.295 million as part of two national settlements resolving disputed payments from tobacco manufacturers, according to Attorney General Christine Gregoire.
OLYMPIA -- A Thurston County judge has approved an agreement between the Attorney General's Office and Wal-Mart that will help reduce the sale of tobacco products to minors at its retail stores, Attorney General Christine Gregoire announced.
OLYMPIA - Patients who used the heart and blood pressure medication Cardizem CD or its generic equivalents between 1998-2003 now have until Nov. 15 to file claims seeking reimbursement under a nationwide antitrust settlement with two drug manufacturers.
SEATTLE - Attorney General Christine Gregoire has filed a lawsuit against a self-proclaimed natural medicine practitioner for making unsubstantiated medical claims about the effectiveness of "electro-dermal testing" to diagnose certain health conditions. Recently updated with information on case resolution.
Olympia - Washington consumers eligible for restitution under the state's $21.15 million settlement with Household International have until Oct.14, 2003 to file a claim, according to Attorney General Christine Gregoire.
OLYMPIA -- The Attorney General's Office and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have filed consent orders that will change the way some Yakima physicians negotiate with private insurance plans over reimbursement rates for physician services.
OLYMPIA - A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals today found Washington's blanket primary system unconstitutional.
OLYMPIA -- Washington Attorney General Christine Gregoire and her colleagues in three other states today described as "wholly unnecessary" a recent legislative proposal from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) that would give the agency broad latitude in deciding how to categorize and dispose of high-level nuclear waste at Hanford.
OLYMPIA -- Attorney General Christine Gregoire today joined 24 other AGs around the country in urging the film industry to help reduce youth tobacco consumption by cutting the amount of smoking depicted in movies.
OLYMPIA - About 12,000 Washington consumers will soon get information about their eligibility for restitution under the state's $21.15 million settlement with Household International, a top lender in the sub-prime mortgage market.
SEATTLE -- Attorney General Christine Gregoire today filed a lawsuit against two Bellevue based companies for violating an agreement to stop engaging in deceptive estate planning sales tactics that target senior citizens.
OLYMPIA - Washington patients who took the heart and blood-pressure medication Cardizem CD or its generic equivalents between 1998-2003 must file claims by Sept. 23 in order to be eligible for reimbursements under a proposed nationwide antitrust settlement with two drug manufacturers.
Olympia -- Attorney General Christine Gregoire today opposed Qwest's request to the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (WUTC) to deregulate rates for its business customers.
OLYMPIA - Attorney General Christine Gregoire is warning consumers, especially Spanish-speaking residents, to be cautious when considering purchases of computer equipment from telemarketers or unfamiliar businesses that advertise on television.
OLYMPIA - Washington and four other western states have reached an agreement with the operator of ARCO gas stations that is intended to reduce the amount of tobacco products sold to minors at those stations, Attorney General Christine Gregoire announced.
OLYMPIA - Cancer patients who purchased the chemotherapy drug Taxol or paclitaxel in the past four years may be eligible to receive reimbursements for illegal overcharges, according to Attorney General Christine Gregoire.
OLYMPIA – July 14, 2003 - Attorney General Christine Gregoire today warned consumers about scam e-mails that try to trick consumers out of personal information by appearing to come from a company they may have an account with.
SEATTLE - Washington consumers who do not wish to receive telemarketing calls can now join the Federal Trade Commission's National Do Not Call Registry, according to Attorney General Christine Gregoire.
OLYMPIA -- Washington and El Paso Corp. today signed an agreement settling the state's claims that the natural gas company manipulated gas prices and abused its market position during the West Coast's 2000-2001 energy crisis.
OLYMPIA -- The state Democratic Central Committee was assessed a $250,000 civil penalty and will be required to provide yearly audits to the state Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) under an agreement filed today in Thurston County Superior Court that settles allegations of financial-reporting violations against the central committee.
Olympia -6.19.03- The owner of the Branch Villa and Merry Haven nursing homes entered a guilty plea today in King County Superior Court to a criminal charge stemming from misusing resident trust funds.
Olympia - 6.18.03 - Attorney General Christine Gregoire said today Washington state will receive $1.7 million from tobacco companies in a new settlement between states and the industry.
Olympia -- Attorney General Christine Gregoire today called for an aggressive, sustained and comprehensive assault against spam by government, industry and consumers.
OLYMPIA - June 16, 2003 - The Attorney General's Office has distributed $300,000 to health programs in Washington as part of the settlement of an anti-competitive drug pricing case.
Olympia - Washington Attorney General Christine Gregoire said today she will join other state attorneys general in urging the United States Supreme Court to review the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision that ruled the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional.
SEATTLE - 5.30.03 - The Attorney General's office has filed suit against the operators of an Internet billing service who allegedly obtained customers without authorization and then charged them $4.99 for each minute they were connected to the service.
OLYMPIA -- The Attorney General's Office today asked the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (WUTC) to order two companies to stop collecting a surcharge from utility customers on the Yakama Reservation
OLYMPIA - 5.19.03 - The U.S. Supreme Court today announced it will review a Washington case that may determine if the state's constitutional ban on the use of public money to fund religious instruction is allowed under the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment.
SEATTLE - Attorney General Christine Gregoire today announced a settlement with Qwest that will give the company's Washington customers a one-time credit of about $30 on their phone bills, as well as provisions designed to limit future rate hikes. The settlement was made in conjunction with Qwest's plans to sell its lucrative Yellow Pages business.
SEATTLE - A Kirkland-based water heater contractor will pay up to $10,000 in restitution, $5,000 in attorney fees and will stop engaging in unfair business practices under a settlement announced today by Attorney General Christine Gregoire.
Seattle - 5.7.03 - Attorney General Christine Gregoire today warned consumers to be on the lookout for a direct mail solicitation about the Senior Citizen and Disabled Persons Property Tax Exemption Program that is really a preliminary pitch for a variety of financial products.
Washington, D.C. - April 30, 2003 - Attorney General Christine Gregoire and Federal Trade Commission consumer protection chief Howard Beales today announced a nationwide enforcement sweep targeting fraudulent online auction sellers.
Seattle - April 24, 2003 - H&R Block, one of the nation's largest tax preparation firms, has agreed to provide $22 refunds to consumers who unknowingly paid for the company's "Peace of Mind" guarantee as part of the cost of having their 2000 tax returns prepared.
OLYMPIA -- Two major pharmaceutical companies will reimburse the state of Washington $5.2 million to settle claims they illegally manipulated prescription-drug price information in order to avoid paying rebates to the state Medicaid program, Attorney General Christine Gregoire announced today.
Olympia -- The judge exercised his option to balance important interests in setting the appeal bond. As we suggested to the court, the new appeal bond will avoid adverse impact on the states and still be sufficient to protect the interests of Illinois consumers.
COLFAX - Bruce L. Grass, a former assistant marshal for the City of Palouse, was charged today in Whitman County District Court with one count of first-degree criminal trespass stemming from an incident in the Town of Garfield on the evening of Aug. 24, 2002.
OLYMPIA -- Washington Attorney General Christine Gregoire said today she and 36 other Attorneys General have asked an Illinois judge to consider the public health consequences around the nation when he sets the appeal bond in a local class action case.
OLYMPIA -- Washington Attorney General Christine Gregoire said today she will file a lawsuit against Philip Morris USA if it fails to make a $53 million payment to the state on April 15.
SEATTLE -- One of the nation's largest Internet service providers has agreed to change the way it deals with new customers acquired through its purchase of smaller ISPs, Attorney General Christine Gregoire announced today.
April 2, 2003 > AG Sues Online Tobacco Sellers
Olympia - Washington State today filed suit against two on-line companies for selling cigarettes to minors, according to Attorney General Christine Gregoire.
OLYMPIA - The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (WUTC) on Thursday will consider whether telecommunications company Verizon will be allowed to raise residential and business rates by $28 million a year without first justifying the increase in formal rate setting hearings.
Kennewick -March 26, 2003- About two dozen Central Washington families who purchased defective computers and educational software from a company that falsely claimed it was associated with local schools have had their money returned.
OLYMPIA - Sharon Nelson, Director of the Shidler Center for Law, Commerce and Technology of the University of Washington School of Law, has been named the new Chief of the Consumer Protection Division, according to Attorney General Christine Gregoire.
OLYMPIA -- Attorney General Christine Gregoire announced today that El Paso Corp. will pay Washington state $23 million to resolve state claims that it manipulated market prices for natural gas and abused its position in the natural gas market.
SEATTLE - To win approval of the sale of its lucrative telephone directory business, which includes the Dex Yellow Pages, Qwest Communications should make sure its Washington customers share in any of the sale's benefits, Attorney General Christine Gregoire said today.
OLYMPIA - State officials are urging telephone customers served by Verizon to keep an eye out for an important notice explaining that they must act quickly to protect the privacy of their telephone calling information.
Seattle - Attorney General Christine Gregoire today announced settlements -- one in principle -- with drug maker Bristol-Myers Squibb, which was accused of illegally trying to extend exclusive rights to two widely prescribed medications.
OLYMPIA -- The Attorney General's Office today announced that the federal court in Seattle has approved a settlement with two major Seattle hotels that ends a three-year antitrust investigation relating to the operation and management by Starwood Hotels of the two large convention hotels in downtown Seattle. The settlement agreement includes requirements for insuring competitive bidding for large events.
Olympia - At the request of Attorney General Christine Gregoire, the U.S. Department of Justice today agreed to suspend further shipments of transuranic (TRU) waste to Hanford for 45 days.
OLYMPIA -- The Attorney General's Office filed papers today asking federal regulators to look at new evidence that supports granting refunds to Northwest utilities that were charged unjustly inflated prices by power suppliers during 2000-2001.
OLYMPIA -- The Attorney General's Office today notified state courts that it will seek state Supreme Court review of a King County Superior Court ruling that Initiative 776 is unconstitutional.

OLYMPIA - March 4, 2003 - Gov. Gary Locke, Attorney General Christine Gregoire and Washington State Department of Ecology Director Tom Fitzsimmons today announced that the state has taken legal action to stop the U.S. Department of Energy from shipping additional quantities of radioactive waste to the Hanford site near Richland. The suit results from the Department of Energy's failure to develop a plan for the eventual removal of the waste from the state.

OLYMPIA -- Washington has joined 20 other states and one territory in support of the University of Michigan's right to establish admissions policies that promote student diversity on state-operated college campuses.
OLYMPIA - The Attorney General's Office today announced it will join six other states in a planned lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for failing to regulate carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the nation's power plants.
OLYMPIA - The state will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review a federal-court decision that would compel the state to make taxpayer-funded scholarships available to college students who pursue degrees in theology, Attorney General Christine Gregoire announced today.
SPOKANE -Feb. 13, 2003 - A firm that claims its magnetic mattress pads, seat covers and infrared mineral lamps provide relief for a host of medical conditions has been sued for making unsubstantiated health claims and failing to refund money to dissatisfied consumers, Attorney General Christine Gregoire said.
OLYMPIA -- The Washington state Attorney General's Office is warning consumers to be on the watch for con artists who will try to take advantage of the public's good will in this time of national tragedy.
SEATTLE – The Washington state Attorney General’s Office is warning consumers to be on guard against a Canadian lottery or sweepstakes telemarketing scam that promises huge prizes in return for the advance payment of fees.
OLYMPIA – The Attorney General’s Office today petitioned the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (WUTC) to establish negotiations aimed at addressing a dispute over the nature of a utility assessment levied by the Yakama Nation.
SEATTLE -- On Friday, January 31, a King County Superior Court judge will consider summary judgment motions in a case challenging the constitutionality of Initiative 776.
SEATTLE - Attorney General Christine Gregoire has filed a lawsuit against a Seattle firm that charged a fee to provide certified public accountants with leads on clients, but then did not make good on its promises.
OLYMPIA -- Attorney General Christine Gregoire today said her office will continue to vigorously defend Initiative 776 against constitutional challenges, but in a manner that will not leave taxpayers liable if the courts ultimately declare the initiative unconstitutional.
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