Albertsons Supermarkets Alleged to Engage in Price-Gouging Class Action

With the Covid-19 pandemic, certain vital items have been in short supply: toilet paper, cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, face masks, and so on. The complaint for this class action alleges that “unscrupulous sellers have taken the opportunity to profit from desperate members of the of the public by gouging prices of essential items…” This is unfair, but the complaint claims it is also a violation of various state laws, including California’s Unfair Competition Law and brings suit against Albertsons Companies, Inc.

The complaint quotes from the California Penal Code: “Upon the proclamation of a state of emergency declared by the President of the United States or the Governor … and for a period of 30 days following that proclamation or declaration, it is unlawful for a person contractor, business or other entity to sell or offer to sell any consumer food items or goods, … building materials, … or gasoline or other motor fuels for a price of more than 10 percent greater than the price charged by that person for those goods or service immediately prior to the proclamation or declaration of emergency.”

Both the President and Gavin Newsom, the Governor of California, have declared states of emergency. Governor Newsom also put out an Executive Order on April 3, 2020 that extended California’s price gouging prohibition for all products until September 4, 2020. The list of covered items included food items, consumer goods, medical or emergency supplies, and other items.

Albertsons owns supermarket chains, including Safeway. The complaint alleges, “Unfortunately, [Albertsons] sold numerous items far in excess of their pre-pandemic prices, in direct violation” of the California Penal Code.

As an example of this, plaintiff Eleisha Redmond claims that on or about April 13, 2020, she paid $18.99 for Angel Soft toilet paper normally priced at $10-11 at that same Safeway location. She “brings this action to hold [Albertsons] liable for its unlawful price increases” during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Nationwide Class for this action is all persons who bought, in the US, any consumer food items or goods, goods used for emergency cleanup, emergency supplies, or medical supplies from a store owned by Albertsons Companies, Inc., on or after January 31, 2020 at a price ten percent greater than the price charged by that store on January 20, 2020 or immediately prior to any declaration of a state of emergency relating to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The California Class for this action is all persons who bought, in California, any consumer food items or goods, goods used for emergency cleanup, emergency supplies, medical supplies home heating oil, or other goods or services encompassed by Cal. Penal Code § 396(b),
from a store owned by Albertsons Companies, Inc., on or after February 4, 2020 at a price ten percent greater than the price charged by that store on February 2, 2020, or immediately prior any declaration of a state of emergency relating to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Albertsons Supermarkets Alleged to Engage in Price-Gouging Complaint

June 3, 2020

With the Covid-19 pandemic, certain vital items have been in short supply: toilet paper, cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, face masks, and so on. The complaint for this class action alleges that “unscrupulous sellers have taken the opportunity to profit from desperate members of the of the public by gouging prices of essential items…” This is unfair, but the complaint claims it is also a violation of various state laws, including California’s Unfair Competition Law and brings suit against Albertsons Companies, Inc.

Albertsons Supermarkets Alleged to Engage in Price-Gouging Complaint

Case Event History

Albertsons Supermarkets Alleged to Engage in Price-Gouging Complaint

June 3, 2020

With the Covid-19 pandemic, certain vital items have been in short supply: toilet paper, cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, face masks, and so on. The complaint for this class action alleges that “unscrupulous sellers have taken the opportunity to profit from desperate members of the of the public by gouging prices of essential items…” This is unfair, but the complaint claims it is also a violation of various state laws, including California’s Unfair Competition Law and brings suit against Albertsons Companies, Inc.

Albertsons Supermarkets Alleged to Engage in Price-Gouging Complaint
Tags: Covid-19 Related, Price Gouging