Sandy’s Gone, But the Gas Gouging Lawsuits Remain

It happens every time a monster storm occurs: Gas stations raise their prices, and other merchants often do as well. But “gouging” isn’t nice, and officials tend to take a dim view of it. Which is why New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa said today he’s suing seven gas stations and a hotel in the northern part of the state, all accused of unfairly racing prices steeply during Hurricane Sandy. The gas stations allegedly raised their prices 17 to 59 percent; the hotel increased room rates by 32 percent. The state received more than 2,000 gouging complaints related to the storm. One question: With the price of gas already pretty high, how would anybody know they’re being more gouged than usual? [Associated Press]

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