New York AG Accuses Egg Producer Of Price Gouging During Pandemic

Marta Zielinska
August 11, 2020 - 11:31 am

    NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — New York Attorney General Letitia James is suing one of the nation's largest egg producers and distributors for allegedly gouging prices during the coronavirus pandemic. 

    James alleges that at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, Hillandale Farms hiked the prices of more than 4 million cartons of eggs that were sold to major grocery store chains — many of which were located in low-income communities, U.S. military facilities — including West Point, and wholesale food distributors throughout New York.

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    Hillandale is accused of charging customers up to four times the pre-pandemic price for one carton of eggs.

    For example in January, James said Hillandale was charging prices ranging from $0.59 to $1.10 for a dozen large white eggs at Western Beef supermarkets.

    By March 15, the price had climbed to $1.49 and as the pandemic progressed the cost eventually jumped to $2.93 per dozen. 

    The lawsuit claims Hillandale raised its prices not because of increased costs, but simply to take advantage of higher consumer demand during the pandemic.

    The company allegedly made an estimated $4 million from unlawfully increasing the price of these eggs, according to James.

    “As this pandemic ravaged our country, Hillandale exploited hardworking New Yorkers to line its own pockets,” said James. “In less than two months, Hillandale made millions by cheating our most vulnerable communities and our servicemembers, actions that are both unlawful and truly rotten. I will always stand up for working people, especially when they are taken advantage of by corporate greed.”

    James said she is seeking restitution for "those forced to unlawfully pay more for these eggs."

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