Monday, August 3, 2020

Pottsville and Jim Thorpe Medical Equipment Companies Accused of Price Gouging Face Masks

On Monday, Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced that the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General has shut down price gouging efforts at Keystone Medical Equipment, Jim Thorpe, and American Surgical Supply, Pottsville; local businesses selling medical supplies like orthopedic braces, PPE, and CPAP machines to consumers in Pennsylvania.
“Consumers have the right to pay a fair price for goods, especially those as essential masks during this pandemic. Ripping people off to make a buck during this pandemic isn’t only unacceptable – it’s illegal,” Attorney General Shapiro said. “Wherever price gouging happens, we will act to stop it and get people their money back.”

Consumers who suspect illegal price increases should email the Office of Attorney General at pricegouging@attorneygeneral.gov and fill out a complaint form. Every complaint is investigated.

The Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General entered into an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance (AVC) with Keystone Medical Equipment and American Surgical Supply after the Office received tips alleging the stores were selling N95 face masks for unlawful prices. The Office learned that Keystone sold 122 face masks for upwards of $28 per mask, and that American Surgical sold 485 face masks for as much as $26 per mask.

Under the Price Gouging Act, a price increase of more than 20 percent during a declared state of emergency is considered price gouging. The AVC requires Keystone and American, respectively, to pay restitution to all consumers who purchased the N95 face masks at excessive prices and to fully comply with all provisions of the Pennsylvania Consumer Protection Law and Price Gouging Act moving forward.

Consumers who purchased N95 face masks from Keystone Medical Equipment or American Surgical Supply may be eligible for restitution if they paid more than they should have.

To be considered for restitution, consumers should file a consumer complaint form and attach a copy of their receipt showing they purchased the N95 face masks between March 6, 2020 and July 28, 2020. Complaints must be submitted by September 23, 2020 to be considered.

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