N.Y. GBS. LAW § 396-r : NY Code - Section 396-R: Price gouging

Search N.Y. GBS. LAW § 396-r : NY Code - Section 396-R: Price gouging

1. Legislative findings and declaration. The
  legislature hereby finds that during periods of abnormal  disruption  of
  the  market caused by strikes, power failures, severe shortages or other
  extraordinary adverse circumstances, some parties within  the  chain  of
  distribution  of consumer goods have taken unfair advantage of consumers
  by charging grossly excessive prices for essential  consumer  goods  and
  services.
    In  order to prevent any party within the chain of distribution of any
  consumer goods from taking unfair advantage of consumers during abnormal
  disruptions of the market, the  legislature  declares  that  the  public
  interest  requires  that  such conduct be prohibited and made subject to
  civil penalties.
    2. During any abnormal disruption of the market for consumer goods and
  services vital and necessary for  the  health,  safety  and  welfare  of
  consumers,  no  party  within the chain of distribution of such consumer
  goods or services or both shall sell or offer to sell any such goods  or
  services  or  both  for  an  amount  which  represents an unconscionably
  excessive price. For purposes of  this  section,  the  phrase  "abnormal
  disruption  of  the market" shall mean any change in the market, whether
  actual or imminently  threatened,  resulting  from  stress  of  weather,
  convulsion  of  nature,  failure  or shortage of electric power or other
  source of energy, strike, civil disorder, war, military action, national
  or local emergency, or other cause of  an  abnormal  disruption  of  the
  market  which  results in the declaration of a state of emergency by the
  governor. For the purposes of this section, the term consumer goods  and
  services  shall  mean  those  used,  bought  or  rendered  primarily for
  personal, family or household purposes. This prohibition shall apply  to
  all   parties   within   the   chain   of  distribution,  including  any
  manufacturer, supplier, wholesaler,  distributor  or  retail  seller  of
  consumer goods or services or both sold by one party to another when the
  product  sold was located in the state prior to the sale. Consumer goods
  and services shall also include any repairs made by any party within the
  chain of distribution of consumer goods  on  an  emergency  basis  as  a
  result of such abnormal disruption of the market.
    3.  Whether  a  price is unconscionably excessive is a question of law
  for the court.
    (a) The court's determination that a violation  of  this  section  has
  occurred  shall  be  based on any of the following factors: (i) that the
  amount of the excess in price is unconscionably extreme;  or  (ii)  that
  there  was  an  exercise  of unfair leverage or unconscionable means; or
  (iii) a combination of both factors in subparagraphs  (i)  and  (ii)  of
  this paragraph.
    (b)  In  any proceeding commenced pursuant to subdivision four of this
  section, prima facie proof that a violation of this section has occurred
  shall include evidence that
    (i) the amount charged represents a gross disparity between the  price
  of  the  goods or services which were the subject of the transaction and
  their value measured by the  price  at  which  such  consumer  goods  or
  services  were  sold  or  offered for sale by the defendant in the usual
  course of business immediately  prior  to  the  onset  of  the  abnormal
  disruption of the market or
    (ii)  the  amount charged grossly exceeded the price at which the same
  or similar goods or services were readily obtainable by other  consumers
  in  the  trade  area.  A  defendant  may  rebut  a prima facie case with
  evidence that additional costs not within the control of  the  defendant
  were imposed on the defendant for the goods or services.
    4.  Where a violation of this section is alleged to have occurred, the
  attorney general may apply in the name of the People of the State of New

  York to the supreme court of the State of New York within  the  judicial
  district  in  which  such  violations  are  alleged to have occurred, on
  notice of five days, for an order enjoining or restraining commission or
  continuance  of  the  alleged unlawful acts. In any such proceeding, the
  court  shall  impose  a  civil  penalty  in  an  amount  not  to  exceed
  twenty-five  thousand  dollars and, where appropriate, order restitution
  to aggrieved consumers.