VA AG files lawsuit against NCAA over NIL restrictions

Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares filed an antitrust lawsuit against the NCAA along with the Attorney General of Tennessee, Jonathan Skrmetti.

The states allege that the NCAA’s restrictions on student-athletes’ ability to negotiate and benefit from their own Name, Image, and Likeness rights violate federal antitrust laws and is harmful to the student-athletes.

The Supreme Court previously found that the NCAA violates antitrust law by imposing unreasonable restraints on compensation that may be received by student athletes which led to Virginia establishing laws to benefit the NIL market for student athletes.

The lawsuit alleges that student athletes:

  • are prevented from negotiating with collectives
  • unable to review NIL offers prior to making their enrollment decision
  • cannot properly consider the NIL services offered by the school upon enrollment

A link to the full lawsuit is available here

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VA First Lady and Attorney General launch Fentanyl Awareness Pilot Program

Virginia’s First Lady Suzanne Youngkin and Attorney General Jason Miyares announced the launch of the Fentanyl Awareness Pilot Program at the Fraline Biomedical Research Institute in Roanoke.

The first-of-its-kind initiative is in conjunction with the Virginia Department of Health, the First Lady’s Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth and the Attorney General’s “One Pill Can Kill” campaign.

The pilot program hopes to warn parents and caregivers that “It only takes one.”

One counterfeit pill or decision could contribute to Virginia’s average of five fentanyl deaths each day.

Fentanyl poisoning is the leading cause of unnatural death in Virginia and deaths from the drug have doubled in certain regions around the state since 2019.

Fentanyl can be mixed with other drugs or made to look like prescriptions with the user often unaware of the presence of fentanyl.

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Miyares announces $30 million in relief for illegal student lending practices

Attorney General Jason Miyares announced that student lender Prehired will be required to provide over $30 million in relief to student borrowers for making false promises of job placement, trapping students with “income share” loans that are against the law, and abusive collection practices.

The order was approved by a federal court and requires the company to cease operations, pay $4.2 million in redress to affected customers, and void all income share loans totaled at $27 million.

Prehired was based in Delaware and operated a 12-week online training program which claimed to prepare students for entry-level software sales roles with “six figure salaries” and a “job guarantee.”

The company also offered students income share loans to finance the costs of the program.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and 10 additional states joined Miyares in the lawsuit in July earlier this year.

The lawsuit alleges borrowers were deceived by claiming its loans were not loans, kept borrowers in the dark about key information, tricked students with deceptive debt collection practices, and sued students in locations far away where they could not be present when they executed the financing contract.

Prehired students affected by this action can submit a claim through a link available here.

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State of emergency and price gouging protections triggered by wildfires

Governor Glenn Youngkin declared a state of emergency due to the wildfires in Madison and Patrick Counties.

The state of emergency allows the Commonwealth to mobilize additional resources in response and recovery efforts as the fire has become more challenging due to the drought conditions.

The declaration then triggered Virginia’s price gouging protections which are designed to protect consumers from paying exorbitant prices for necessities during a thirty day period following a state of emergency.

Violations of the act are enforceable by the Attorney General’s office and should be reported for investigation.

The basic test for determining price gouging is if the post-disaster price grossly exceeds the price 10 days prior.

Some of the items included are water, ice, food, generators, home repair materials, and tree removal services.

Consumers can contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Section for additional information or to file a complaint by:

  • Phone at (800)-552-9963
  • Email: consmuer@oag.state.va.us
  • Online Complaint Form, available here

For more information on price gouging, click here.

To view the Governor’s announcement, click here.

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Monsanto Company makes statement following $80 million settlement with Virginia

The Monsanto Company released a statement following Attorney General Jason Miyares’ announcement regarding the $80 million settlement reached between the Company and Virginia.

In the statement, Monsanto mentions they have reached settlements with Virginia and Pennsylvania to resolve all claims relating to polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs.

The statement also highlights that the settlement does not contain an admission of liability or wrongdoing by the Company and they will fully resolve all PCB claims in both states.

Monsanto also states they never manufactured or disposed of PCBs in Pennsylvania or Virginia’s environments.

The Monsanto Company’s full statement reads:

Monsanto has reached settlement agreements with the Commonwealths of Pennsylvania and Virginia to resolve all claims relating to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), a legacy product the Company ceased producing in 1977, two years before EPA banned their manufacture. The settlements contain no admission of liability or wrongdoing by the Company and will fully resolve all of those states’ PCB claims. Under the terms of the agreements, Monsanto will make a payment of $99.5 million to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (plus $500,000 in costs) and $80 million to the Commonwealth of Virginia, terms that demonstrate the prior settlement with the State of Oregon was an outlier. The Company never manufactured or disposed of PCBs in Pennsylvania or Virginia’s environments.

“In 2022, Monsanto filed a lawsuit in Missouri against six former PCB customers seeking to enforce contracts under which these companies agreed to fully defend and indemnify Monsanto. The Company entered into these indemnity agreements, beginning in 1972, as a condition of continuing to provide these former customers with bulk PCBs for use in their closed-end finished products. Monsanto ceased its legal manufacture of PCBs more than 45 years ago. Prior to this time, PCBs were highly valued as nonflammable safety fluids, specified by many electrical and building codes as well as insurance companies to protect against serious fire risk. Monsanto remains committed to defending existing and future cases at trial and will only consider settlements when it is in the Company’s interest to do so.”

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AG Miyares leads coalition in support of veterans’ benefits

Virginia’s Attorney General Jason Miyares led a bipartisan coalition of attorney generals from 40 states and DC in urging the Supreme Court to rule in favor of James Rudisill in Rudisill v. McDonough.

The attorney generals have declared the case a matter of protecting veterans’ rights and education benefits.

Rudisill is a Virginia resident and decorated Army veteran of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He received the Bronze Star, one of the military’s highest accolades, for his service.

Rudisill used the GI Bill to receive his undergraduate degree after his first tour.

Following his third tour, he was accepted to the Yale Divinity School where he planned to become a chaplain and return to the military.

The VA denied his request for educational benefits which has since been overturned in multiple courts before arriving at the Supreme Court.

To view the brief, click here.

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Attorney General Miyares Launches Civil Rights Investigation

Attorney General Jason Miyares today announced that his Office of Civil Rights will be investigating Fairfax County

Public Schools and the administration of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (“TJHSST”) for

unlawful discrimination in violation of the Virginia Human Rights Act (“VHRA”).

The investigation will examine if the administration’s decision to withhold National Merit Scholarship honors from

students and the school’s new admissions policies violate the VHRA.

“No student should be treated differently because of their race. Students at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science

and Technology are amongst the brightest in the nation, yet some have been punished in the name of ‘equity.’ Racism

and race-based government decision making in any form is wrong and unlawful under Virginia’s Human Rights Act,”

said Attorney General Miyares. “The controversial admissions policies at TJHSST, which have significantly decreased

the amount of Asian American students enrolled in recent years, is another example of students being treated

differently because of their ethnicity. My Office of Civil Rights will investigate any potential violations of the law and

vindicate the civil rights of these students and their families.”

Read the letter here.

 

 

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Governor Youngkin Calls for Attorney General Jason Miyares to Investigate

Following recent news reports, Governor Glenn Youngkin today called for Virginia’s Attorney General Jason Miyares

to investigate allegations that information about National Merit Awards, as determined by student PSAT scores, was

withheld from students at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology until after important deadlines

for college scholarships had passed.

“We need to get to the bottom of what appears to be an egregious, deliberate attempt to disadvantage high performing

students at one of the best schools in the country,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “Parents and students deserve

answers and Attorney General Miyares will initiate a full investigation. I believe this failure may have caused material

harm to those students and their parents, and that this failure may have violated the Virginia Human Rights Act.”

The letter to the Attorney General can be found below

https://files.constantcontact.com/1db4409e701/bc10691c-2786-4fbf-9a5e-83f2ff3c537c.png?rdr=true

 

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Youngkin bans TikTok and more on state devices

Governor Glenn Youngkin issued Executive Order #24 on Friday which banned the use of certain Chinese owned mobile phone applications and websites in state government technology.

This order most notable bans the use of TikTok, WeChat, and any other applications developed by ByteDance Limited or Tencent Holdings limited on state government devices and WiFi networks.

Businesses contracting with the state are also prohibited from using those applications within the state’s IT infrastructure.

Among privacy and cybersecurity concerns, Attorney General Jason Miyares mentioned the ongoing investigation regarding TikTok’s effect on the mental health of our youth.

Senator Mark Warner also released a statement supporting the Governor’s decision.

To read Executive Order #24 in full, click here.

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