New York, NY – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has signed legislation (S.8189/A.10270) banning price gouging of personal protective equipment.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been many instances of price gouging, particularly of critical medical supplies. Masks and hand sanitizer that are desperately needed by hospitals and other health care facilities are regularly overcharged. This legislation will help ensure access to these critical supplies for health care workers and the general public.
“From the beginning of this pandemic we’ve seen too many instances of retailers taking advantage of this dire situation and charging exorbitant prices for critical medical supplies,” Governor Cuomo said. “By banning price gouging on personal protective equipment, we are helping to ensure our health care workers – who have been working tirelessly to save lives at great personal danger to themselves – and the public have access to these supplies, while holding these unscrupulous retailers accountable for attempting to capitalize on the fear of others.”
This legislation strengthens and expands the New York State price gouging statutes. There was general agreement that stronger legislation was needed to address COVID-19 issues since New Yorkers were being overcharged for PPE.
New York Attorney General Letitia James said, “New Yorkers can rest assured that our office will fight every day to ensure they are not taken advantage of during the coronavirus pandemic or any other emergency our state may face in the future. Since this pandemic began, we have received over 7,000 price gouging complaints related to COVID-19 and gone after the bad actors behind these unlawful acts, but today’s law will vastly expand our efforts to protect New Yorkers’ wallets, as well as the bottom lines of small businesses and taxpayer dollars. We are focused on protecting all New Yorkers now and in the future.”