Have You Been Charged Higher Prices During A State Of Emergency?
One tragic side effect of public health emergencies such as floods, pandemics, or wildfires is when unscrupulous retailers start jacking up the price of basic necessities to profit off the panic of consumers. In 2017, after Hurricane Harvey devastated Texas, prices as high as $99 for a case of water and $20 for a gallon of gas were reported. This price gouging is not only immoral, but in many states illegal.
Price gouging is illegal in California under California Penal Code 396. If you’ve been forced to pay higher prices for goods or services while your area has been affected by wildfire and declared in a state of emergency, you may be eligible for financial compensation.
On September 9th, 2020, in the midst of one of the most devastating wildfire outbreaks in California history, California Attorney General Becerra stated: “Multiple fires burning throughout the state have forced evacuations for thousands of California residents. During this difficult time, they shouldn’t have to worry about whether they’re being illegally cheated out of fair prices,”
California State Penal Code 396 says that it is “illegal for a person, contractor, business, or other entity to increase the price of a product or service item more than ten (10) percent for the following thirty (30) days after an Executive Order or State of Emergency has been declared – Under the law, it also unlawful to increase rental rates more than ten (10) percent for that 30-day period.”
If you believe you’ve been a victim of price gouging in California, Kazerouni Law Group is here to help. As experienced consumer attorneys who’ve represented both victims of devastating wildfires, as well as people taken advantage of by greedy corporations, we’re uniquely qualified to help you with your case. Our initial consultation is completely free, and you won’t pay a dime until we win or settle your case.