The Texas Attorney General is now investigating complaints involving a death cleanup company following a Becky Oliver report. And the victims are also fighting back in a lawsuit.
After the FOX 4 story aired in February the complaints starting rolling in. Cynthia Karle knew she wasn't alone. Her 24-year-old son died from a gunshot wound in her home last May.
"I watched it and saw that other people were going through what I went through here in the state of Texas and it is not right," Karle said.
The biohazard management company called Aftermath cleaned up and then she said tried to clean her out. She thought her bill would be $3,000 but she got a bill for $16,000 that her insurance wouldn't pay.
Now the AG is investigating her complaint. On Friday afternoon it ordered Aftermath to turn over information about how it conducts its business.
"I was like yeah, it is about time someone steps in and takes them down," Karle said.
Rick Donato hired Aftermath when his son committed suicide last year. He thought he would get a $4,000 or $5,000 bill but instead it was $22,000.
"I don't know how they can do it, you know. That is taking advantage of someone in so much pain. My son was everything," Donato said.
Rexine and Jeff Mays were also expecting a $3,000 bill. Their's was $31,000.
"You are in shock that this is happening," Rexine Mays said.
The families are accusing the company of conspiracy, fraud and filing fraudulent liens, among other things. Karle got a lien placed on her home when she didn't cough up the $16,000.
"I cried, thinking I was going to lose my home. And I am going to lose it because they put a lien on it that I cannot pay," she said.
The company released the lien after the lawsuit was filed.
Aftermath's corporate office in Illinois said it was unaware of the AG's action but said, "All five families in the lawsuit gave us a perfect score… on the exit survey."
It said "Aftermath's pricing is in line with the prevailing rates for biohazard providers" and "each customer signs a written agreement detailing Aftermath's fees… each receives an invoice reflecting the agreed upon charges."
The AG's investigative demand is a very thorough inquiry about the company. It demands information about the company's ownership, policies and procedures, lawsuits filed, consumer complaints.
There are federal health and safety rules but no state regulation protecting consumers involving clean up companies. The lawyer representing the families is former lawmaker Ted Lyon. He is really pushing for the issue to get before the legislature.
KDFW FOX 4
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