CHARLESTON, WV (WVNS) — A lawsuit filed by West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey accuses another egg company of price gouging during the COVID-19 pandemic. The latest suit was filed on Monday, Aug. 10, 2020 in Greenbrier County.
The lawsuit alleges Merchants Distributors LLC increased prices on eggs by more than 200-percent during March and April. The eggs were sold at Walmart, IGA and Piggly Wiggly locations under the brand names Morning Fresh Farms, Better Valu and SunUps.
“Price gouging is against the law in West Virginia,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “The coronavirus emergency represents a time when everyone should unite to help one another – not an opportunity for businesses to unlawfully take advantage of those shopping for something as basic as eggs.”
According to a release from the Attorney General’s office, the cost of a dozen Grade A medium white eggs went from $1.18 on Feb. 24 to $4.27 on March 30. The Attorney General’s office stated Merchants Distributors claimed the increase was due to increased demand, a drop in supply and the Easter holiday. An investigation by the AG’s office found a shortage did not exist at the time.
Attorney General Morrisey is asking the court to force the company to pay restitution to consumers and a civil penalty of $5,000 for each violation of the price gouging statute. He is also seeking an injunction to stop any similar conduct.
59News has reached out to Merchant Distributors for a statement.