Wednesday, May 6, 2020
State Attorneys General are not the only ones enforcing monetary value gouging laws in the current pandemic. many states besides provide a private right of legal action for victims of price gouge. Depending on the state, private litigants may seek injunctions, civil penalties, or even damages under express monetary value gouging statutes and consumer protection laws. These remedies, and late event filings, highlight the importance of price gouging submission during this unprecedented ball-shaped pandemic .
Violators of price gouging statutes in states with a individual good of legal action could find themselves facing class actions and goodly damages claims. Remedies available to private litigants range from damages, restitution, injunctive relief, and/or attorneys ’ fees. New Jersey ’ randomness Consumer Fraud Act, for model, provides that
[ a ] new york person who suffers any ascertainable loss of moneys or property. .. may bring an action. .. . In any action under this section the woo shall, in addition to any other allow legal or equitable relief, award threefold the damages sustained by any person in sake. [ T ] he court shall besides award reasonable attorneys ’ fees, filing fees and fair costs of befit.
N.J. Stat. Ann. § 56:8-19. North Carolina besides provides for a individual correct of action under its consumer protection laws, which allows victims to recover double damages, deoxyadenosine monophosphate well as attorneys ’ fees if the evaluator finds that the defendant willfully engaged in price extort. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-16 .
Some states, like Arkansas, have enhanced penalties for violators that target the aged or disabled persons. Under Arkansas ’ Deceptive Trade Practices Act, “ [ a ] n elder or disable person who suffers damage or wound as a result of an offense or trespass described in this chapter [ including price gouging under § 4-88-301 et seq. ] has a cause of action to recover actual damages, punitive damages, if appropriate, and reasonable lawyer ’ sulfur fees. ” Ark. Code Ann. § 4-88-204. Michigan not merely allows victims to recover their actual losses but besides specifically allows for class actions. Under the Michigan Consumer Protection Act, “ [ a ] person who suffers loss as a leave of a irreverence of this act may bring a class action on behalf of persons residing or injured. .. for the actual damaged cause by. .. a method, act, or rehearse in trade or commerce defined as improper under section 3 [ including price gouging ]. ” Mich. Comp. Laws § 445.911 ( 3 ) ( a ). California ’ s consumer protection laws provide a private proper of action for an injunction, though some have argued that restitution may besides be available for price gouging—as in a recently filed California classify carry through .
several class actions have already been filed by consumers against companies for alleged price rout, and more are expected in the do weeks and months—even potentially where there have been lone humble price movements and even after the hand brake declarations have been lifted. Companies that are topic to the setting of monetary value gouging statutes can engage in allow conformity efforts to seek to avoid such claims, and to ensure they can address such claims if they arise .