One of the realities of owning and operating any kind of business is that at some point you will wind up having some kind of legal problems. They can come from any number of directions. Suppliers could get testy if they aren’t paid on time for products ordered. Shareholders, if there are any, might bring suit if they believe they’ve been misled about the company’s financial condition.
If consumers feel they have been defrauded, they might attempt to take direct action to get satisfaction. And if their demands go unheeded and it triggers a wave of complaints, the government can get involved.
Regardless of where the action comes from, the legal challenges can be time consuming and expensive. The eventual outcome, whether positive, negative or neutral, may well depend on the depth of experience of the legal counsel you have at your side. You want to be confident in the assessment of legal options and formulation of strategy.
An example of what can happen if the right steps aren’t taken seems to be offered clearly in one case that made headlines in a recent issue of The News & Observer. According to the story, the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office has obtained a default judgment against two men connected with a computer repair business.
Default judgments are defined as judgments issued by a court if a cited party fails to respond in any way to accusations that are leveled.
In this case, the two men had been accused by the AG’s office of deceiving customers and treating them unfairly. The accusations were based on complaints from 69 consumers. Some said they paid for work that sometimes never got done. Others who tried to get refunds or information about work status were ignored. In other cases, consumers were given computers that belonged to someone else.
As a result of the claims and apparently unanswered charges, the business is now closed and the two men are under orders to pay about $10,000 in restitution, a civil penalty of up to $445,000, and are forbidden from starting any computer repair business within state boundaries.
Source: The News & Observer, “Men behind Raleigh Geeks repair business ordered to pay $455,000,” David Ranii, June 8, 2015