Price-gouging law in effect following state-of-emergency declaration

BATON ROUGE, LA (KPLC) - Attorney General Buddy Caldwell is reminding citizens and businesses that Louisiana price gouging laws are in effect following the state of emergency declaration from Gov. Bobby Jindal as a result of conditions created by Tropical Storm Isaac.

Price gouging occurs when a seller prices merchandise much higher than is reasonable or fair.

According to a news release from Caldwell's office, the price gouging statute prohibits the raising of prices above the pre-emergency levels unless there is a national or regional market commodity shortage.

This means that sellers of gasoline and petroleum products, hotels, motels and retailers are prohibited from raising prices during this state of emergency unless they incur a verifiable spike in the prices they have to pay as part of doing business.

The price gouging laws carry both civil and criminal penalties.

This state of emergency extends from Aug. 26 through Sept. 25 unless terminated sooner.

If you suspect price gouging, you may contact the Louisiana Attorney General's Office at 800-351-4889.

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