Bryan Cohen Nov. 19, 2012, 4:56pm

NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced on Thursday that his office has notified 13 gas station operators of an intent to commence enforcement proceedings against them for alleged price-gouging law violations.

The 13 gas stations include Cedarhurst, Jackson Heights and Cortlandt Manor-based Shell stations, the Lindenhurst-based Babylon Gas Station/Express Mart, East Islip and Medford-based USA Petroleum stations, the Brooklyn-based Sonomax, the College Point-based Delta, the Bronx-based Getty, Long Island City and Bronx-based Mobil stations and two White Plains-based Mobil stations. The stations allegedly violated the New York State Price Gouging statute.

"These 13 retailers stand out from others in the high prices they have charged and in the size of their price increases," Schneiderman said.

Schneiderman's office received hundreds of consumer complaints related to price gouging after Hurricane Sandy.

"Our office has zero tolerance for price gouging and we are taking action to send a message that ripping off New Yorkers is against the law," Schneiderman said. "Today's action is the first in a series of steps my office will take as we continue to actively investigate the hundreds of complaints we've received from consumers of businesses preying on victims of Hurricane Sandy. We will do everything we can to stop unscrupulous individuals from taking advantage of New Yorkers trying to rebuild their lives."

The state's price-gouging law takes effect on triggered events that abnormally disrupt the market, including strikes, power failures, war, weather events, local or national emergencies, and other causes. The law states that a price may be unconscionably excessive if the amount is a gross disparity between the price of the services or goods during the disaster versus the price in the usual course of business.

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