The Times West Virginian

West Virginia

February 15, 2014

Two stores targeted over water price gouging

CHARLESTON — West Virginia’s attorney general is accusing a convenience store company of illegally raising water prices while a chemical spill left 300,000 people in the state without usable tap water.

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey filed the enforcement action Friday in Putnam County Circuit Court, claiming Mid Valley Mart more than doubled prices for one-gallon water jugs to $3.39 at two Hurricane stores. The complaint also says one customer paid more than $40 for 12 one-gallon jugs.

The enforcement action claims the company charged the inflated prices for at least a week, until Jan. 17.

On Jan. 10, a customer bought six jugs at $1.59 per gallon but wanted another dozen, the complaint states. A clerk told the customer he would have to wait to see how much the additional jugs would cost “depending on whether Tyler Mountain raised its prices.”

The customer returned an hour later and had to pay $3.39 per jug. Tyler Mountain, the water jug company, did not raise its prices, the complaint states.

The lawsuit seeks injunctive relief, reimbursement to customers and fines in excess of $5,000 per violation.

Store owner Achraf Assi declined comment.

It’s illegal in West Virginia to raise prices on essential products and services by more than 10 percent in a state of emergency. An emergency declaration still is in effect for nine affected counties.

After the spill, the attorney general’s office has issued six investigative subpoenas and has sent 18 cease-and-desist letters for reported price gouging activities.

Federal emergency officials, state and local agencies and the water company started providing free water from outside sources shortly after the water-use ban took effect. The ban lasted up to 10 days in some neighborhoods.  

 

1
Text Only
West Virginia
  • Veterans crisis center coming to Clarksburg

    The long delays for veterans seeking medical care at VA hospitals have prompted The American Legion to plan a short-term crisis center in Clarksburg.

    July 29, 2014

  • Weekend tornado confirmed in West Virginia

    The National Weather Service has confirmed a tornado touched down in Pleasants and Ritchie counties over the weekend.

    July 29, 2014

  • Rahal: Fund VA reform ‘for our veterans’

     On the cusp of Congress’s lengthy summer break, factions sparring over legislation to strengthen health care and funding reforms for the Department of Veterans Affairs may have reached a compromise.
    Although final details are still in the works, the top two negotiators, Sen. Bernard Sanders, I-Vt., and Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., released a joint statement that said they had “made significant progress toward and agreement on legislation to make VA more accountable and to help the department recruit more doctors, nurses and other health-care professionals.”

    July 29, 2014

  • Attorney general reaches $950,000 settlement with three financial groups

    West Virginia’s attorney general has reached a $950,000 settlement with three companies over allegations of antitrust law violations.

    July 28, 2014

  • Woman convicted in teen’s slaying moved

    A Monongalia County teenager has been transferred to a state prison to complete her sentence for the slaying of another teenager.
    The Lakin Correctional Center near Point Pleasant said Friday Rachel Shoaf has been booked at the Division of Corrections prison. Shoaf turned 18 last month and had been held in a juvenile facility.

    July 26, 2014

  • Board suspends clinic operator’s license

    A West Virginia board Friday suspended the license of the operator of a pain management clinic where investigators found syringes were being reused. It was the second disciplinary action involving the doctor’s license within a decade.

    July 26, 2014

  • Candidates: Leave global warming debate to scientists

    Two West Virginia congressional hopefuls said during their first candidate forum matchup Thursday that the global warming debate is better left to scientists.
    Democrat Nick Casey and Republican Alex Mooney added that other countries should step up in reducing carbon emissions.

    July 24, 2014

  • Lawsuit filed over Dirty Girl Mud Run

    A lawsuit has been filed against the producers of a run that was canceled in Charleston in which participants were told they wouldn’t be issued refunds.

    July 24, 2014

  • WVa. man sues GM over wife's death

    A West Virginia man has filed a lawsuit against General Motors Corp., claiming a defective ignition switch in a Chevrolet Cobalt caused a 2006 accident that killed his pregnant wife.

    July 24, 2014

  • Feds commit to health studies on spilled chemical

    After largely dismissing the possibility of long-term health problems, federal officials will conduct more studies on chemicals that spilled into West Virginia’s largest drinking water supply in January.
    In the next two months, federal health officials are also heading back to West Virginia.

    July 24, 2014

House Ads
Featured Ads