Tuesday, February 5, 2019

$100+m class action lawsuits against InventHelp et al: Compilation of court filings, media reports, attorney contacts (updated 11/25/19)

Click here for an incomplete compilation of court filings via my Scribd account.

Click here for my February 19, 2019 blog item, In search of the HEIMRICK, Fremont PA & 19 soap bar recyclers: My investigation request to the Pennsylvania Attorney General re: two high-profile Pittsburgh companies.


Would-be inventors accuse InventHelp of fraud, seek $36M by Bill Heltzel, Westfair Online,February 7, 2018

Pittsburgh invention promotion company accused of scamming thousands of inventors by Paul Van Osdol, WTAE News (ABC Pittsburgh affiliate), July 19, 2019

Inventors Suing InventHelp Want to Know Why George Foreman Represents the Company by Margaret Downing, Houston Press, September 4, 2018
There is a lawsuit and [Spring, Texas resident] Etta Calhoun’s name is on it, the lead name, in fact, on a class action lawsuit filed in Pennsylvania. There is another class action lawsuit in New York state. The defendants in both cases are InventHelp and associated companies in which Calhoun and others allege that InventHelp’s operation is a scam, that InventHelp and its associated companies prey upon low income people, often minorities, and either do nothing or deliver subpar work.

...InventHelp denies all allegations and has tried unsuccessfully to have both lawsuits thrown out of court, insisting in one case that the plaintiffs were clients of another company, not InventHelp. George Foreman is not named as a defendant, although (plaintiffs' attorney Julie Pecharsky) Plitt says he may be added later.
We were unable to reach (retired boxer George) Foreman.
...We did talk with his son George Foreman IV who said InventHelp was a great company and expressed surprise at our call. He said they’d never heard of any lawsuit against InventHelp. He said he’d see if his father would talk to us, but that never happened and instead in a subsequent call, Foreman IV politely referred us back to InventHelp.
The lawsuits each ask for a jury trial, $36 million in relief and punitive damages and another $72 million in compensatory damages.
...Asked if she believed more than a few clients – who paid anywhere from $700 to $30,000 for InventHelp’s assistance – bought into InventHelp because of Foreman’s representation, Plitt says “More than several. I would say the vast majority of them.
A retired engineer patented his own game, but thinks he may have been gamed by a marketing pitch by Courtney Linder, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 21, 2019

InventHelp Fraud Class Action Has Legs, Court Told by Matthew Santoni, Law360, February 1, 2019 (behind subscription paywall)
(Etta) Calhoun is represented by Marc S. Oxman and Julie Pechersky Plitt of Oxman Law Group PLLC, Richard J. Levan and Jon-Jorge Aras of Levan Legal LLC, and Stanley W. Greenfield of Greenfield & Kraut.

InventHelp is represented by David J. Garraux of Fox Rothschild LLC.

Thomas Frost is represented by James W. Kraus of Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti LLP.

The case is Calhoun v. Invention Submission Corp. et aI., case number 2: 18-cv-Ol022, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.
KDKA Investigates: In Federal Lawsuit, Local Inventors Say InventHelp Let Them Down by Andy Sheehan, KDKA-TV CBS Pittsburgh (click title link for video), November 25, 2019:
Antonelli is one of several hundreds of plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit filed in federal court accusing InventHelp of “a deceptive and fraudulent inventing promotion scam that has bilked thousands of aspiring inventors into paying millions of dollars.”

The suit claims the company dangles the prospect of riches, pressures prospective clients into expensive contracts, then reneges on their promise to market the product through a so-called “databank” of participating companies.

“In truth and in fact, many of these companies on these lists do not even exist and/or are sham companies. Others have not agreed to ‘review new ideas in confidence,’ have not signed non-disclosure agreements, and have no relationship whatsoever with InventHelp,” the suit says.

Attorney Julie Pechersky Plitt said: “I would say this is fraud, pure and simple from start to finish. False promises, false companies, false licensing agreement. Everything about it is fraudulent.”

KDKA’s Andy Sheehan visited InventHelp’s headquarters here in Pittsburgh — he called and sent emails, seeking a response to these allegations but only received this short reply:

“InventHelp is very confident that it will prevail in (this) case, and is proud of the quality services it offers to inventors across the country.”