Coronavirus Price Gouging in Pennsylvania | Covid-19 Price Gouging

Date: May 4, 2020
Posted In: DLP Law

Coronavirus Price Gouging in Pennsylvania

Recently the attorneys at Dougherty Leventhal & Price, LLP have received inquiries from concerned clients regarding price gouging during the coronavirus crisis.  Reports of hand sanitizer being sold for $19.00, Lysol can spray for $12.00, toilet paper for $2.00 per roll or more and cases of water for $20.00 or more have raised significant concerns about profiteering during these difficult times.

PA among states working to investigate, crack down on Covid19 Price Gouging

Pennsylvania is one of many states that has laws prohibiting this type of unconscionable conduct.  The Price Gouging Act of 2006, P.L. 1210, No. 133 prohibits price gouging during an emergency declaration such as the one issued by Governor Wolf.  Price gouging is equated to fixing prices in excess of 20% higher than the average price within seven (7) days of the emergency declaration.   Enforcement of the Law is bestowed upon the Bureau of Consumer Protection in the Office of Attorney General.   Under the Law the Attorney General may bring an action to impose a civil penalty up to $10,000 for each violation and may seek other relief including injunctive relief.  Violators can also be subpoenaed and compelled to testify and produce documents.  Currently the Attorney General is handling over 125 complaints per day in Pennsylvania.  The A.G. office is sending and issuing “cease and desist letters” to all violators.  If the letter is ignored, the A. G.’s office is taking “more drastic legal action” as permitted under the law.

How to report price gouging during COVID-19 outbreak

The attorneys at DLP are recommending that our clients contact the Bureau of Consumer Protection and the Attorney General in the event one witnesses price gouging.   Contact information is:  1-800-879-2301  or 1-800-441-2555  (Scranton office) or please report it to pricegouging@attorneygeneral.gov

Joe Price
Attorney Joe Price is a seasoned Trial Lawyer serving Northeast, Central and Southeast Pennsylvania for the past forty (40) years. He has handled serious personal injury cases in courts throughout the Federal system including New Jersey and New York. Attorney Price is A.V. Rated by Martindale Hubble. He is Board Certified in Civil Practice by the National Board of Trial Advocacy since 1996.