Calif. AG Announces Egg Price Gouging Settlement

On Tuesday, California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced a settlement of $175,000 with Smart & Final after allegations stemmed from price gouging off certain premium egg products during a declared state of emergency.

Smart & Final is large retail business that “operates more than 250 retail stores throughout the western United States.”

The settlement states that Smart & Final will pay $175,000 in penalties “and permanently enjoins Smart & Final from future violations of the Unfair Competition Law.”

Attorney General Bonta statedthat “When California first went into lockdown at the beginning of the pandemic, there was a run on essential supplies, and unfortunately, some businesses saw this as an opportunity to pad their bottom line. Let me be clear, price gouging during a declared state of emergency is illegal.”

According to California Penal Code 396, it is unlawful to sell goods such as necessary supplies like food and essential items “at more than 10% higher than the prices charged for that same item immediately before the declaration was issued.”

The statement put out alleges that Smart & Final sold over “100,000 cartons of unlawfully priced eggs while price gouging protections were in place.”

 On April 3, 2020 California Governor put out the executive order in which “price gouging protections” were extended for another additional five months. 

Ultimately, the settlement is left open for more individuals who believe they had been victims of price gouging to be able to file a complaint.