Price gouging enforcement and litigation is front and center for company counsel and business managers nationwide. Our weekly round up highlights some of the most relevant news and information for our clients and friends.
Miami-Dade County Activates Price Gouging Hotline
Following the Surfside condo collapse, the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s office, in conjunction with the Miami-Dade Police Department, has announced a hotline for reporting instances of price gouging. The Florida price gouging law prohibits selling products at “an unconscionable price within the area for which the state of emergency is declared.” The Florida Governor declared a state of emergency in Miami-Dade County on June 24, 2021 due to the condo collapse.
Prices Surge Amid Heat Wave in Washington
Alongside record-setting temperatures in Washington, hotel prices are skyrocketing. Attorney General Ferguson is facing calls to investigate why some hotel rooms, generally priced at $80 per night, are being listed at $450. Many rooms cost over $1000 per night. As temperatures reach triple digits, $250 air conditioning units are being sold for over $2000. While no legal action has been taken in response, some websites and selling platforms are threatening to remove users who are engaged in price gouging. Washington is one of several states without a specific price gouging law, so the Attorney General is relying on a clause in the Washington Consumer Protections Act that prohibits “unfair and deceptive” business conduct. Last legislative session, the Attorney General proposed legislation to prohibit price gouging during a declared state of emergency.
Michigan Towing Companies are Facing Price Gouging Scrutiny
The Michigan Attorney General announced the office would investigate complaints of price gouging relating to towing fees after I-94 flooded. Business owners are reporting fees totaling $10,000, including base fees of $6,300, swimmers’ fees of over $2,000, and taxes. The Michigan Governor declared a state of emergency in Wayne County in response to “historic flooding” in the area. The flooding left many cars stranded on the interstate, caused power outages, and left many residents with flooded homes.