CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia's attorney general has filed a second lawsuit against an egg supplier for alleged price gouging during the coronavirus pandemic.
Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said Tuesday that Merchants Distributors LLC more than doubled egg prices for grocery shoppers in nine West Virginia counties.
The price increases involved Piggly Wiggly, IGA and Walmart stores in Boone, Braxton, Cabell, Harrison, Kanawha, Pocahontas, Upshur, Webster and Wood counties.
The civil suit says the price of a dozen Grade A, medium white eggs from about $1.18 on Feb. 24 to $4.27 on March 30. It says the company apparently cited increased demand, a drop in supply and the Easter holiday for the increase. An investigation by Morrisey's office found no shortage existed.
The suit accuses the company of violating the state's consumer protection act and seeks restitution for consumers, civil penalties for violations of a price gouging statute and an injunction to prevent such conduct.
A telephone message left with Hickory, N.C.-based Merchant Distributors was not immediately returned Tuesday.
Morrisey filed a similar lawsuit last month against egg supplier Green Valley Poultry Farms owner Dutt & Wagner of Virginia Inc.