Independence Medical, Inc., based in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, company president, Jerry Rodney Rogers, and Jeffrey S. Marmer, a company officer, have agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges stemming from their role in an allegedly deceptive scheme to telemarket medical equipment to consumers nationwide. In May 1995, in a complaint filed in a federal district court, the FTC charged that Independence Medical, as well as a number of other corporate and individual defendants, pitched one type of product to consumers -- for example, a scooter -- but then obtained physician approval and made insurance claims for other, more expensive, equipment -- such as a motorized wheelchair. In some instances, the FTC charged, the defendants filed insurance claims listing items and accessories that were never discussed with, or ordered by, consumers.
The settlement bars Jerry Rodney Rogers -- for 10 years -- from the marketing, promotion, sale, or rental of any medical product or service. In addition, a judgment of $250,000 was entered against Rogers, although it is suspended until further order of the court. Jeffrey S. Marmer is required, for the next seven years, to first obtain a performance bond in the amount of $100,000 before engaging in the sale of any durable medical equipment. In addition, Marmer is required to pay a judgment in the amount of $31,000 within 10 days after entry of the order.
Along with the settlement, the FTC has filed an amended complaint alleging similar unlawful conduct against four additional defendants in this matter -- Ability Medical, Inc., and American Medical Independence, both based in Galloway, Ohio, and Violet Cassie Rogers and Jerry Wilburn Rogers, parents of defendant Jerry Rodney Rogers -- all of whom have agreed to be bound by the provisions of the settlement. Cassie Rogers and Jerry Wilburn Rogers are prohibited from engaging in the sale or rental of any durable medical equipment without first obtaining a performance bond in the amount of $50,000. Further, Cassie and Jerry W. Rogers are required to pay a judgment of $7,500.
The settlement permanently prohibits the defendants from making the kinds of misrepresentations alleged in the complaint, and from making any misrepresentations in connection with the sale or rental of any medical equipment or service.
The settlement also contains various reporting requirements to assist the FTC in monitoring the defendants' compliance.
The Commission vote file the proposed settlement was 5-0. The settlement was filed in, and approved by, the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina, Charleston Division, on August 26.
NOTE: This stipulated final judgment and order for permanent injunction is for settlement purposes only and does not constitute an admission by the defendants of law violations. The stipulated final judgment has the force of law when signed by the judge.
Copies of the stipulated final judgment and amended complaint, as well as other documents associated with this case, are available from the FTC’s Public Reference Branch, Room 130, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580; 202-326-2222; TTY for the hearing impaired 1-866-653-4261. To find out the latest news as it is announced, call the FTC NewsPhone recording at 202-326-2710. FTC news releases and other materials also are available on the Internet at the FTC’s World Wide Web site at: http://www.ftc.gov
(Civil Action No.: 2: 95-1581-18)
(FTC File No. X95 0043)