Alleged Price Gougers Will Pay Over $430,000 to Settle State Lawsuits
Filed Following Superstorm Sandy;
Total Recoveries in Sandy Gouging Cases Top $800,000
NEWARK – The Office of the Attorney General and its Divisions of Consumer Affairs
and Law have reached settlements with another nine companies alleged to have pricegouged
customers following Superstorm Sandy, Acting Attorney General John J.
Hoffman announced today. Under terms of these settlements, the State will obtain
$437,538 in penalties, fees and consumer restitution.
To date, 18 of the 27 lawsuits filed by the Office of the Attorney General against
businesses alleged to have engaged in price gouging during the State of Emergency
declared for Superstorm Sandy by Governor Chris Christie have been resolved.
With the eight most recent consent settlements and one judgment announced today, the
State will obtain $816,313 in civil penalties, consumer restitution and reimbursement of
its attorneys' fees and investigative costs.
"Under Governor Christie's leadership, we've acted to hold accountable these
businesses for their price gouging during the State of Emergency," Acting Attorney
General Hoffman said. "As we work to resolve the remaining lawsuits and
investigations, all businesses in New Jersey should be on notice that we will never
tolerate the gouging of consumers and that we will swiftly act against those who attempt
to illegally enrich themselves during a declared State of Emergency."
The Division of Consumer Affairs received more than 2,000 consumer complaints about
alleged price gouging by gas stations, hotels and other businesses immediately
following the State of Emergency declared on October 27, 2012. The first price-gouging
lawsuits were filed by the Divisions of Law and Consumer Affairs in November 2012,
with 27 businesses sued to date.The lawsuits against the following nine businesses have been settled since the last
round of case updates issued in July:
HotelsHospitality Management of Parsippany, LLC, d/b/a Days Inn, 3159 Route 46
Will pay $70,000.00, which includes $8,240.11 in consumer restitution.
The State will receive $61,759.89, which includes $53,062.74 in civil
penalties and $8,697.15 in attorneys' fees and investigative costs. OM Dutt, LLC, d/b/a America's Best Value Inn,1311 Route 22 West, Phillipsburg
Will pay $7,909.50. An additional $40,000 civil penalty is suspended, but
will become payable if violations occur within two years.Ratan Hospitality Group, LLC, d/b/a Howard Johnson Express, 625 Rt. 46 East, Parsippany; Howard Johnson Express, 680 Rt. 3 West, Clifton; Holiday Inn Express, 2600 Tonnelle Ave., North Bergen; and Ramada Inn, 120 Evergreen Place, East Orange
Will pay $111,700.00, which includes $9,588.56 in consumer restitution.
The State will receive $86,860.84 in civil penalties and $15,250.60 in
attorneys' fees and investigative costs.Riya Hazlet Hotel, d/b/a Holiday Inn, 2870 Rt. 35, Hazlet
Will pay $75,000.00, which includes $2,951.91 in consumer restitution.
The State will receive $52,121.73 in civil penalties and $19,926.36 in
attorneys' fees and investigative costs.
Gas StationsAlen Service Corp. , doing business as (d/b/a) Lukoil gas station, 335 McCarter Highway, Newark
Will pay the State a total of $30,000.00, including $9,179.42 in civil
penalties and $20,820.58 for reimbursement of its attorneys' fees and
investigative costs. An additional $7,500.00 civil penalty is suspended but
will become payable if violations occur during the next year.Empire Oil, LLC, d/b/a Delta gas station, 7319 Bergenline Ave., North Bergen
Will pay $18,000.00 in civil penalties to the State. An additional
$36,400.00 penalty is suspended, but will become payable if violations
occur during the next three years.Jenny's Shell Station, LLC, 461 Bloomfield Avenue, Bloomfield
Will pay $40,000.00, which includes $33,535.87 in civil penalties and
$6,464.13 in attorneys' fees and costs.
Consumers who believe they have been cheated or scammed by a business, or suspect any other form of consumer abuse,
can file an online complaint with the State Division of Consumer Affairs by visiting
its website or by calling 1-800-242-5846 (toll free within New Jersey) or 973-504- 6200.
Follow the Division of Consumer Affairs on
Facebook , and check our online calendar of upcoming
Consumer Outreach events.