Pa. AG reaches price-gouging settlement

By Bryan Cohen | Jul 18, 2014

HARRISBURG, Pa. (Legal Newsline) - Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane announced a settlement on Thursday with an Allentown motel that allegedly engaged in price gouging during a declared state of emergency in Pennsylvania related to Hurricane Sandy.

Dinesh and Anil Panwala, the owners of Akshay LLC, doing business as Rodeway Inn and formerly doing business as EconoLodge Motel, allegedly charged excessive prices for motel rooms during a declared state of emergency between October 26, 2012 and January 15, 2013. The motel allegedly rented rooms at rates that were more than 20 percent above the average price of rooms rented seven days before the declaration.

Pennsylvania's Price Gouging Act bans businesses from charging excessive prices during a declared state of emergency. The Panwalas allegedly violated the law on 120 occasions during the declared state of emergency.

Under the terms of the settlement, Rodeway Inn and the Panwalas must refrain from violating Pennsylvania's Consumer Protection Law and Price Gouging Act in the future. Rodeway Inn and the Panwalas must pay $10,042 to eligible consumers, as well as civil penalties to the state.

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