NEWARK, N.J. (Legal Newsline) - New Jersey Acting Attorney General John Hoffman announced settlements on Monday with two hotels and a gas station to resolve allegations of price gouging in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.
Berkeley Hotel LLC, doing business as The Berkeley Hotel, allegedly raised its room rates by as much as 117 percent above the prices charged for the same rooms prior to the state of emergency. Devsatya Inc., doing business as Studio Inn & Suites, allegedly raised its hotel room rates by as much as 283 percent during the state of emergency. East Hanover Amoco Inc., doing business as C&M Exxon, allegedly increased its prices between 26.3 percent and 34.2 percent during the state of emergency.
"These hotels allegedly raised their room rates by well over 100 percent of their normal prices, and this gas station increased its prices in excess of 25 percent - all at a time when a natural disaster turned the normal laws of supply and demand upside down, New Jersey families were in dire need of shelter and fuel, and price gouging was expressly prohibited due to a state of emergency," Hoffman said.
Under the terms of the settlements, Berkeley Hotel, Devsatya and East Hanover Amoco agreed to pay a total of $89,845.68 to resolve the allegations of price gouging.
Hoffman's office has resolved 21 of the 27 lawsuits it filed against businesses accused of price gouging during the Superstorm Sandy state of emergency. Including the latest settlements, the state has obtained a total of $906,158.68 in civil penalties, consumer restitution and reimbursement of fees.