Illinois sues on-line pharmacies

July 2000
Points of Business Interest

Illinois sues on-line pharmacies.

The Illinois Attorney General sued several on-line pharmacies under consumer protection laws, asserting violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, the Illinois Medical Practice Act and the Illinois Pharmacy Practice Act. It is alleged that the pharmacies practiced medicine without a license by having the customer answer medical questions and choose a dosage level, then charge the customer for the medication plus a $75.00 "consultation fee."

Insurers may limit the total payout for Aids related insurance claims.

The U.S. Supreme Court let stand a lower court decision permitting Mutual of Omaha to set a $25,000 lifetime coverage limit for Aids claims with a one million dollar limit for other conditions. The plaintiffs had contended that the practice was discriminatory under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

IRS rules now require lawyers and accountants to report corporate tax avoidance.

Your Treasury Department rules now require attorneys and accountants who promote tax shelters to their corporate clients to report any transaction where the "significant purpose" of the transaction is tax avoidance. In addition, the new rules require businesses to report to the IRS whenever their book income (earnings reported to stockholders) substantially exceeds the business' taxable income, and report every payment to a tax shelter promoter in excess of $100,000.

And just when you thought things couldn't get worse for Bill Gates.

European Union Competition Commissioner announced the EU's investigation of Microsoft's Windows 2000 operating system regarding complaints that Microsoft unfairly bundled the operating system with other software in such a way that only its own products are fully inter-operable.

Tort reform: the sequel.

Congress is debating a bill named the Small Business Liability Reform Act of 2000. This bill would limit punitive damages which can be awarded against businesses with fewer than 25 full-time employees to the lesser of three times the claimants compensatory damages or $250,000. Punitive damages would be allowed only in cases where the plaintiff shows that the defendant engaged in particularly egregious conduct by clear and convincing evidence.

Additional insured coverage.

The Cook County Circuit Court recently held that an insurance company was not obligated to provide "additional insured" coverage for a general contractor under an oral agreement with a subcontractor, because the policy language is interpreted to require written agreement rather than the oral agreement between a subcontractor and a general contractor.

New tax law affects sale of the assets of a business.

Effective December 17, 1999, a new federal statute taxes the proceeds from the sale of the assets of a business using the accrual method of accounting must be paid all at once, even if the proceeds are to be received in installments over several years.

Advisory Committee recommends extension of moratorium on Internet taxes.

The Advisory Committee recommended to Congress that it extend for five more years the current moratorium on new Internet traces, eliminate the federal telephone tax and resolve when sales traces can be imposes on on-line sales.

Where's the beef: UCC security interest covering livestock is valid for only one year.

In a Knox County case, the court interpreted Uniform Commercial Code Section 9-307 on the Federal Food Security Act providing that a bank's failure to notify the buyer of livestock of its security interest within one year means the bank's security interest lapsed.

Net FTC Financial Privacy Rules.

The FTC has established new regulations requiring financial institutions to provide notice to consumers, to give them choices about how and whether data is used or shared. These rules cover on-line mortgage brokers, real estate brokers and tax preparers, and take effect on July 1, 2000.