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September 2015 Archives

Robert Clifford Quoted in The Wall Street Journal on Volkswagen Class Action Litigation

Robert A. Clifford spoke to a Wall Street Journal reporter about the possibility of the numerous class actions filed around the country and said, "'No doubt about it, there will be an MDL here." An MDL is a multi-district litigation action whereby the federal courts consolidate all similar actions before a single judge to hear the matter.

Bob Clifford Speaks to Fox and Automotive Reporter on WLS-AM

Robert A. Clifford, founder and senior partner at Clifford Law Offices, has been contacted by the press all week regarding the filing of a national class action against Volkswagen for the emissions scandal it perpetrated on millions of car drivers. Clifford visited the Chicago studios of Fox Business News and national syndicated radio Friday (Sept. 25, 2015) morning where he spoke of the scam that is affecting some half million people in the U.S. as well as more than 10 million more people worldwide. Clifford said how he spoke of the enormity of this corporate greed and how it is certain that criminal charges will follow, as the U.S. Justice Department and 30 state's attorneys general, including Illinois' Lisa Madigan, are looking into the matter. Clifford also spoke Saturday (Sept. 26, 2015) morning with automotive reporter Steve Brian on WLS 890 AM in Chicago for more than 15 minutes. Brian, who has worked at the station covering the beat for more than two decades, also fielded callers who are very concerned about what they are to do about their vehicles.  In introducing Clifford to listeners, Brian said that "Bob Clifford is clearly one of the nation's top tort attorneys." Already Clifford Law Offices has been contacted by more than 1,000 people who are impacted by this consumer fraud scam, Clifford told Brian, and he expects the scope of this to grow as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and others continue their investigations into how this happened to cars sold since 2008.

VW CEO Resigns Amid Emissions Scandal

In the wake of the tremendous debacle concerning Volkswagen cars sold since 2008, today its CEO resigned - or some say forced out - for his mishandling of the situation. VW's global CEO Martin Winterkorn, an engineer, told the press that he had no knowledge of the diesel engine dupe, but apologized to the public and accepted responsibility after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) discovered the fraud that appears to have been intentional. The U.S. Justice Department is conducting an investigation in the matter as well as the EPA for VW's violating its pollution standards. Various European organizations also are looking into the matter. Globally, 11 million cars are affected; some half million in the U.S. Winterkorn, 68, has been CEO of the car maker for eight years. In his quitting over the cheating diesel engine scandal, he called it a "grave crisis," and said he was leaving for a "fresh start" for the company. VW had just overtaken Toyota as the world's largest automaker. Now with the public's crisis of confidence, its position there is precarious, industry experts agree. To read his official statement of resignation, go to: http://www.volkswagenag.com/ "For something of this magnitude, one would expect that the CEO .would know, and if he doesn't know, then he's willfully ignorant," said Jeff Thinnes, a former Daimler executive who consults with European companies on compliance and ethics issues. Although other diesel-engine automakers have not been singled out as doing the same, it has put the entire auto industry on the defensive in raising questions about the accuracy of all vehicles' auto emissions.

Hot Off the Press - Bob Clifford and Partners Quoted on Class Action Lawsuit Filed by Clifford Law Offices Against Volkswagen

The class action lawsuit filed on behalf of owners of Volkswagen diesel-engine vehicles has garnered quite a bit of press, even around the globe, especially considering that the German car maker has admitted that up to 11 million vehicles worldwide may be affected by the "defeat devices." Robert A. Clifford, found and senior partner at the firm, spoke to the Chicago Tribune as well as to several other media outlets that resulted in stories that were published in the last 48 hours or that aired on various television networks. In today's Chicago Tribune (Sept. 23, 2015), a story on page three of the Business Section covers the VW lawsuit filed on Chicago plaintiff's behalf by class action lawyer Robert Clifford. The lawsuit seeks class action status, compensatory damages, including those for "emotional distress," and legal fees. The plaintiffs are seeking a jury trial. Among those that quoted Clifford or mentioned the firm's filing of the case include many of the CBS radio affiliates as well as: MSN - September 23, 2015: http://www.msn.com/en-in/health/medical/volkswagen-hires-kirkland-ellis-to-defend-emissions-cases/vi-AAeFxfU?refvid=BBlWlem The Guardian in London, England - September 23, 2015, Clifford Law Offices mentioned in The Guardian about how VW hired BP oil spill lawyers to defend emissions cases. Several law firms in the US, including Clifford Law Offices, have filed class action law suits against the German company. WGN Radio - The Roe Conn Show - Sept. 22, 2015 - The Honorable Henry R. Simmons (Ret.), Managing Partner at Clifford Law Offices, and Clifford Law is representing two Volkswagen owners who have filed a class action lawsuit against VW. Simmons (Ret.) joins Roe & Anna with a first-hand look at the future of this litigation and the extent of damages. Judge Simmons (Ret.) speaks to Roe Conn for 15 minutes about questions that listeners may have as well as speculating that criminal actions may ensue, particularly since the U.S. Justice Department is conducting its own investigation. ABC National News - Sept. 22, 2015 - ABC News includes in their Volkswagen emissions scandal story that in Chicago, a class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of Micah Dorn, who bought a TDI Clean Diesel engine Volkswagen Jetta in 2013, the suit filed by attorney Robert Clifford. ABC7 - Chicago affiliate, WLS - Sept. 22, 2015 - ABC 7 Chicago covers the VW emissions scandal interviewing Robert Clifford: "There are nearly 500,000 vehicles that are subject to this issue of manipulating the results of environmental testing and the impact of these allegations, if proven to be true by the government, are enormous for the consuming public," says Clifford. September 22, 2015Bob Clifford quoted in Bloomberg Business in "Volkswagen Owners Want Payback" article. "While it's too early to say how VW diesel owners would be compensated, possibilities include payment for a vehicle's loss of value, punitive damages for the company's intentional misconduct and even money for people's emotional distress" according to Clifford. To view more "Hot Off the Press" items involving Robert Clifford and Clifford Law Offices, please visit: http://cliffordlaw.com/clifford-law-hot-press/

Class Action Attorney Robert Clifford Interviewed by the Press on the filing of Lawsuit Against Volkswagen in Chicago

Several media outlets have interviewed Robert A. Clifford, founder and senior partner of Clifford Law Offices, on yesterday's filing of a class action lawsuit in federal district court on behalf of a Chicago man and an Indiana man who own Jettas. The lawsuit, filed in the Northern District of Illinois federal district court, alleged numerous allegations against the world's largest automaker for its deceptive and fraudulent business practices regarding the diesel engine cars it sold since 2008. The class members are Micah Dorn of Chicago and Peter Haralovich of Monroe County, Indiana. The Chicago Tribune quoted allegations in the lawsuit: "Even if Volkswagen is able to comply with the EPA order, Dorn, Haralovich and class members will offer actual harm and damages because their vehicles will no longer perform as they did when purchased and will not perform as advertised," according to the 20-page complaint filed by the firm. "This will result in a diminution in value of every affected vehicle, and it will cause owners to pay more for fuel while using their vehicles." To read the entire Tribune story, go to: http://www.chicagotribune.com/ The class action case filed by Clifford Law Offices seeks compensatory damages including those for emotional distress. To learn more about the class action lawsuit filed in Chicago's federal court, go to: http://cliffordlaw.com/volkswagen-class-action-lawsuit/ There you will find an intake form if you are a victim of Volkswagen's deception should you own or lease one of the cars involved in the fraudulent scheme, and frequently asked questions are answered.

"Clean" Diesel Engine Investigation Grows

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reportedly is expanding its search into the so-called "defeat devices" in all diesel engine cars in the country. Industry Week is reporting that the scandal surrounding Volkswagen's deception regarding its diesel engine cars may impact 11 million cars worldwide, according to The New York Times in a story today (Sept. 22, 2015). And industry reports are saying that the EPA may be expanding its emissions probe to other car makers of that type of engine. That would include BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Chevrolet, Jeep and Dodge Ram diesel cars that also may be subject to the EPA's investigation, according to reports. To learn more about if you are a part of the class action lawsuit that has been filed against Volkswagen by Clifford Law Offices in federal district court in Chicago, to go: http://cliffordlaw.com/volkswagen-class-action-lawsuit/ The expanded investigation by the EPA, partnered with the California Air Resources Board, as well as separate investigations by the U.S. Justice Department and Volkswagen itself, according to reports, is looking into software that the automaker installed on diesel engine cars that turn off emissions controls when the car is being driven and turns them back on only when the car is undergoing an emissions test. Some half million cars with four cylinder, two liter VW and Audi diesel engines built since 2008 are affected. The emissions of the vehicles actually can spew out up to 40 times beyond the legal limit allowed under the Clean Air Act of the pollutant nitrogen oxide that can contribute to respiratory problems including asthma, bronchitis and emphysema. Today (Sept. 22, 2015) the German automaker, the second largest car manufacturer in the world, said that it was setting aside about $7.3 billion (or about a half year of its' profits) to cover the cost of fixing the VW cars to comply with pollution standards, according to The New York Times.

Bob Clifford Speaks to Bloomberg Reporter About Class Action Lawsuit Filed by Clifford Law in Volkswagen "Clean Diesel" Cases

Robert A. Clifford, founder and senior partner at Clifford Law Offices, spoke at length to Bloomberg Business reporter Alan Levin in a story, "Volkswagen Owners Want Payback." (Sept. 21, 2015) Clifford spoke about the disappointment of the dozens of people who have called his office in the wake of the deceptive and untruthful advertising as well as its apparent intentional dishonest conduct in stating the environmentally friendly diesel engine models were, in fact, quite the opposite - instead spewing up to 40 times beyond the legal limit of the pollutant nitrous oxide that creates greater smog in the air. "'This is as big a thing as I've seen on the legal landscape in a long time,'" Clifford told Levin in the story. Three reporters combined efforts in reporting the story about several models of the Volkswagen - the Passat, the Beetle, the Jetta, the Golf and the Audi A3 - that have been recalled by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for this violation of the Clean Air Act and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations as well as state consumer laws. Some half million vehicles are affected. The Bloomberg story reports that several federal investigations are underway including by the EPA and the U.S. Department of Justice. Clifford Law Offices filed the complaint Monday (Sept. 21, 2015) in federal district court in Chicago on behalf of two Jetta owners, one in Chicago and the other from Indiana. Both said they would not have bought the car or would have paid much less had they been aware that the environmentally friend feature of the car was not present, the complaint alleges. The Bloomberg story also reports that the popular online car pricing website, Edmonds.com, is advising consumers who own such cars that they are now worth less than before if they are thinking of re-selling these vehicles. The story reports that the only way to fix the problem may be to cut horsepower and fuel economy, another touted feature that these cars get excellent gas mileage. Owners may be facing higher prices at the tank. To find out more about the case or to file an informational report with the law firm, go to www.CliffordLaw.com or email VWLawsuit@CliffordLaw.com

Clifford Law Offices Files Class Action Complaint Against VW

Clifford Law Offices, a leading mass tort/class action firm based in Chicago, today filed a complaint against Volkswagen on behalf of hundreds of thousands of people who have been duped by the German car maker in buying several environmentally friendly cars when, in fact, they were not.The 20-page complaint alleges deceptive and fraudulent business practices as well as violations of the Clean Air Act, EPA regulations and state consumer fraud statutes in Illinois and Indiana, the home states of the two representative plaintiffs.Both of them bought new Jettas based upon the fraudulent advertising that the cars were eco-friendly and also provided outstanding gas mileage when, in fact, neither was true.  In addition to Jettas, the Passat, the Beetle, the Golf and the Audi A3 are involved in the scam.  Some half million cars have been recalled by the EPA and require retooling.to find out more about the case or to file an informational report with the class action law firm, to to www.Cliffordlaw.com or email VWLawsuit@cliffordlaw.com .

Have a Volkswagen or Audi Affected by Diesel Engine Controversy? Fill Out Form Here

Clifford Law Offices is handling a number of cases involving the highly controversial Volkswagen and Audi diesel engine scheme for which the car maker's CEO has already apologized. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency learned of the scam where software apparently was created that could fool emissions tests while spewing up to 40 times the legal limit of the pollutant nitrogen oxide into the environment, yet called these vehicles environmental friendly. Up to a half million cars are affected and have been recalled in order to be retrofitted. How many people bought these cars based upon this feature? How many feel that their cars are now worth less because of the debacle? The courts will surely determine that. If you wish to fill out a form to learn more about how this situation unfolds because you or a family member own or lease such a car - a Volkswagen Beetle, Jetta, Golf, Passat or Audi A3 - then please contact our class action law firm: http://cliffordlaw.com/volkswagen-class-action-lawsuit/

Clifford Law Offices Files Federal Class Action Complaint for Deceptive and Fraudulent Business Practices Against Volkswagen in "Clean Diesel" Scam

September 21, 2015

Clifford Law Offices, a leading mass tort/class action firm in Chicago, today (Monday, Sept. 21, 2015) filed a class action complaint in federal district court on behalf of two people who own Volkswagens that are affected by the recent "clean diesel' scandal that has rocked the automaker.
The complaint, filed on behalf of Micah Dorn and Peter Haralovich, individually and as representatives of the class, alleges that since at least 2008 Volkswagen represented and sold certain models as "clean diesel engine", but "they were not clean."
The CEO of the German car maker has publicly apologized for misleading the public in selling cars that were able to outsmart official emissions test and register lower numbers during testing but when, in fact, the cars were driven on the road, they could emit the pollutant nitrous oxide as much as 40 times over the legal limit. That pollutant is a reactive gas that combines with volatile organic compounds in the atmosphere to produce ozone and its emission is regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA uncovered the scheme to the public days ago and is now reportedly conducting a full investigation. Fuel mileage increases also were impacted by these emission control devices, according to the complaint.
Dorn of Cook County, Illinois, and Haralovich of Monroe County, Indiana, contacted Clifford Law Offices to file a lawsuit on their behalf as well as all others similarly situated, which is said to be as many as a half million cars owned and leased in the U.S. Dorn purchased a new 2013 Jetta and Haralovich purchased a new 2010 Jetta, both relying on the "clean diesel engine" aspect of the cars that were touted as "green" cars and environmentally friendly vehicles. They both still own the vehicles but said they would not have purchased the cars or would have paid much less had Volkswagen not advertised that feature prior to the sale.
The 20-page complaint filed in the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago specifically alleges violations of the Clean Air Act and EPA regulations. It goes on to state that Volkswagen "intentionally designed the 'defeat device' into the software" and that it was not revealed nor was it discoverable by any buyer or user of the car. The complaint also alleges fraudulent concealment by VW, violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud statute and violations of the Indiana Deceptive Sales Act.
"When the software in the Affected Vehicles' electronic Control Module ('ECM') detects environmental and vehicle parameters that resemble an emissions test, the ECM activates the pollution control devices installed on the car to enable an emissions test to be passed," the complaint alleges. When the emissions tests are not triggered, the emission control devices on the cars are partially turned off and bypassed, the complaint goes on to say.
Specifically, the complaint mentions that this software has been installed on models between 2009 to the present on the Jetta, the Jetta Sportwagen, the Golf, the Golf Sportwagen, the Audi A3, the Beetle, the Beetle Convertible and the Passat. The EPA has recalled all of these vehicles for the years in question.
"Once again, we are privileged to represent consumer interests against corporate wrongdoing," said Robert A. Clifford, founder and senior partner at the firm. "Our firm has developed a reputation for complex litigation, and consumer class action matters in particular. We have always been an advocate for consumers."
Clifford recently was selected as co-lead counsel in the defective Pella windows class action matter in federal district court in Chicago. He also has a number of other class action cases including representing dozens of people involved in the General Motors faulty ignition issue. He was named this month as the 2015 top Mass Tort/Class Action lawyer in the Chicago metropolitan area by Best Lawyers, one of the top peer-review legal groups in the country.
The complaint alleges that the amount of harm to some half million potential plaintiffs exceeds $5 million.
To find out more about the case or to file an informational report with the law firm, go to www.CliffordLaw.comor email VWLawsuit@CliffordLaw.com
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For further information, please contact Clifford Law Offices Communications Partner Pamela Sakowicz Menaker at 847-721-0909.
www.CliffordLaw.com

Clifford Law Offices, Leading Class Action Law Firm, Handling VW/Audi Diesel Engine Car Cases

Clifford Law Offices, a nationally recognized personal injury and wrongful death law firm and also a leader in various class action cases, is handling cases involving the VW/Audi diesel engine scheme involving nearly a half million vehicles sold since 2008. Robert A. Clifford, founder and senior partner at the firm, recently was appointed co-lead counsel by U.S. District Court Judge James B. Zagel of the Northern District of Illinois "as class counsel for his demonstrated skills in the field." in the class action filed against Pella Windows Corporation, a nationwide window manufacturer and distributor regarding defective windows. Most recently, the lead plaintiff in the NCAA concussion litigation retained Clifford to represent him and to advocate on his behalf for those similarly situated. Clifford has been named as one of the top lawyers in the 2016 Edition of Best Lawyers, the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession. He was named as the top attorney in the Chicago metropolitan area in Plaintiffs' Mass Tort Litigation/Class Action work in 2016. Indeed, Clifford serves as lead counsel in a data breach case filed against Advocate Medical Group, Illinois' largest healthcare system, involving more than four million patients and is reportedly the largest healthcare date breach in the nation's history. Also, individual attorneys at Clifford Law Offices were named among the 2016 Best Lawyers in America include partner Shannon M. McNulty in Plaintiffs Product Liability Litigation who heads the firm's class action practice area. Best Lawyers has published its list for more than three decades, earning the respect of the profession, the media and the public as one of the most reliable, unbiased sources of legal referrals. Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers has become universally regarded as a definitive guide to legal excellence. "Best Lawyers is the most effective tool in identifying critical legal expertise," said President and Co-Founder Steven Naifeh. 'Inclusion on this list shows that an attorney is respected by his or her peers for professional success." To contact Clifford Law Offices if you own one of the cars affected by the recent diesel-engine scheme exposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), call Clifford Law Offices at 312-899-9090 or 800-899-0410 or email Shannon McNulty at smm@CliffordLaw.com.

Volkswagen and Audi Slammed for "Clean Diesel" Scam

Volkswagen's CEO has apologized for cheating on emission standards of various models that it claimed had "clean diesel" engines that delivered better performance and low emissions, when, in fact, the car maker was accused last week of defrauding environmental regulators. Martin Winterkorn issued the statement Sunday (Sept. 20, 2015), adding that VW is cooperating with authorities and has commissioned an external probe, according to The Wall Street Journal. The German car maker also reportedly has halted all American sales of the popular diesel-powered cars. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is probing the matter after reportedly was tipped off by testing done by the California Air Resources Board The EPA investigation affects cars sold since 20008 and include the Volkswagen's Passat, Jetta, Golf, Beetle and the Audi's A3 luxury compact car. About 482,000 diesel-powered cars are reportedly affected. The EPA has ordered the company to recall the affected cars. The car maker may face billions of dollars in fines for its reported deliberate conduct in hoodwinking car buyers into thinking that the car was producing cleaner emissions. In reality, the car had software that was made to appear that the engines had lower emission levels than they actually did; the feature was only turned on during vehicle omissions tests. Winterkorn told the press Sunday that he will do "everything necessary" to regain the public trust in the company. Clifford Law Offices is accepting cases regarding this matter. Please go to the home page of www.CliffordLaw.com and click on Class Action. There you will be able to fill out a form that asks for details regarding your Volkswagen or Audi vehicle. You will be contacted if you qualify to potentially become a member of the class action lawsuit. Clifford Law Offices is handling several class action lawsuits including taking the lead on the defective Pella window class action cases. For further information, contact Clifford Law Offices at 312-899-9090 or email smm@CliffordLaw.com or VWLawsuit@CliffordLaw.com

Are Drug Ad Warnings Too Long and Confusing?

All of us have heard commercials for prescriptions drugs of one kind or another and towards the end of the spot, the announcer rattles off a list of possible side effects or dangers, some which may even include death. Despite the flowers and smiles in the videos and print ads, the warnings can be very serious and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that approves drugs for consumer use is now questioning whether the warnings may be overdone. In a story reported in the Chicago Tribune ("Drug ads include a lot of warnings - probably too many, FDA says," by John Russell, Sept. 4, 2015), the FDA is studying whether those warnings "overwhelm and confuse consumers. The agency says no one reads more than half of the fine print in drug ads, and of those who do, 55 percent say it's hard to understand." As a result, Russell reports that the FDA has found that people are instead ignoring the risk factors altogether and missing the important information that is drown out. "A few weeks ago, the FDA rolled out 'reissued revised draft guidance.' Under the proposed guidelines, drugmakers would still be required to include 'black-box warnings' about the most serious risks. But they wouldn't have to rattle off a laundry list of every possible side effect," Russell reports. Dr. Sidney Wolfe, director of Health Research Group at Public Citizen, a consumer and health advocacy group in Washington, D.C., however, says that "'It all bodes very poorly for consumers'" because he says it will allow drug companies "'to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative.'" The FDA is not authorized to limit the amount of money drugmakers spend on advertising nor ban ads for drugs that have serious risks. Nor do drugmakers have to spell out exactly how a drug works, the cost of the drug or if there is a similar drug with fewer risks that can treat the same condition. Ads by the drug companies are not pre-approved by the FDA, but if it sees something that is misleading or violates the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, the FDA can send a letter to the company to pull the ad immediately. In 2015, drug companies are reported to have spent billions of dollars a year on ads and commercials, up 30 percent from 2012, the Tribune reports. The FDA is accepting comments on the proposed guidelines for print ads until Oct. 5 and is continuing to study broadcast advertising. The latter guidelines have been in place since 1999. To learn more about drug advertisements and what a drug company must tell you about its products, go to: http://www.fda.gov/drugs/resourcesforyou/consumers/prescriptiondrugadvertising/default.htm

Bob Clifford Named to Who’s Who in Chicago by Crain’s Chicago Business

Robert A. Clifford, founder and senior partner of Clifford Law Offices, was named once again to Who’s Who in Chicago by Crain’s Chicago Business.Every year, the business magazine publishes a list of the top business people in Chicago. This year the 2015 list includes 542 people in business, government and other decision makers who make an impact on the city and beyond.From Fortune 500 CEO’s to philanthropists to civic leaders, they are the city’s “movers and shakers” of the year. From Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, from Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool to Archbishop of Chicago Blase Cupich, these are all household names to Chicagoans.

Department of Justice Asked to Probe of Structured Settlement Buyouts

The Washington Post today reports that Democratic Reps. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) have asked U.S. Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch to open an investigation into "whether companies that purchase settlement payment rights have violated federal law amid mounting criticism that some deals have taken advantage of vulnerable residents in poor, urban communities. 'Our goal is to have the Attorney General's office take a deep dive into these practices and expose wrongdoing, because clearly we have a situation where people are preying on individuals who have already been victimized,'" the lawmakers said in a letter to Lynch last week. Van Hollen and Slaughter "are the latest to press for increased scrutiny of companies that purchase settlement payment rights following a report in The Washington Post that detailed how some deals have doled out dimes on the dollar to lead-paint poisoning victims who are poor and mentally disabled," according to the story. The Washington Post story, written by Terrence McCoy, reported that the structured settlement industry, that began in the 1980s, had few restrictions. Over the years, some states have passed laws, but Van Hollen was reported as questioning the effectiveness of those laws today. "Lawmakers ask attorney general to probe structured settlement buyouts," Sept. 1, 12015.    http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/social-issues/lawmakers-ask-attorney-general-to-probe-structured-settlement-buyouts/2015/09/01/4de408a2-500f-11e5-9812-92d5948a40f8_story.html McCoy also reported that Slaughter said this isn't a local issue because it can have national consequences. "'When the victims run out of that [lump-sum] money, then the rest of us have to pick up the slack,' she said. 'It's another way they're forced onto public assistance.'" The congresswoman said that she is awaiting a response from the Attorney General's office.

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