As pandemic response task forces at the federal and state levels ramp up price gouging investigations and enforcement actions across the country, civil plaintiffs attorneys have jumped to the forefront by utilizing private causes of action to file price gouging-based class action lawsuits against dozens of major retailers and food supply companies.   Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s prediction that the COVID-19 crisis will be the “biggest trial lawyer bonanza in history” appears to be taking shape, as the number of putative class action lawsuits targeting price spikes in products that span the consumer spectrum—including N95 masks, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, medical supplies, consumer food items and emergency department physician services—escalates daily during the current crisis.  Notably, these lawsuits have attacked purported price gouging not just under existing price gouging statutes but also through an array of state laws, including consumer protection statutes, negligence, breach of implied contract, unjust enrichment and common law unconscionability.

Continue Reading The Tip of the Iceberg Emerges: Initial Wave of Class Actions Reflect How Private Causes of Action Will Add Significantly to Price Gouging Litigation

For those who haven’t previously been following, this is our third installment on COVID-19 class actions.  The first installment was prospective and authored prior to any filed class actions.   The second installment examined the first certified class and putative class actions filed in the mass tort and consumer spaces.   In this installment, we discuss and

As we were drafting this blog post, each of us was sitting in our home offices self-quarantined from the outside world doing our part to flatten-the-curve and keep COVID-19 germs at bay. The news about the coronavirus is changing by the second and along with it closings and edicts the likes of which most of