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Fri February 14, 2014
W.Va. Attorney General Targets Two Stores Over Water Price Gouging
West Virginia's attorney general is accusing a convenience store company of illegally raising water prices while running water was unusable after a chemical spill.
Attorney General Patrick Morrisey filed the enforcement action Friday in Putnam County Circuit Court, claiming Mid Valley Mart more than doubled prices for one-gallon water jugs to $3.39 at two Hurricane stores. The complaint also says one customer paid more than $40 for 12 one-gallon jugs.
The lawsuit seeks injunctive relief, reimbursement to customers and fines in excess of $5,000 per violation.
Store owner Achraf Assi declined comment.
It's illegal in West Virginia to raise prices on essential products and services by more than 10 percent in a state of emergency.
The Jan. 9 spill spurred a tap water-use ban for days for 300,000 West Virginians.
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Water Price Hikes