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Rutledge addresses price-gouging amid coronavirus outbreak

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced a price-gouging plan after coronavirus concerns.

ARKANSAS, USA — Attorney General Leslie Rutledge joined Governor Asa Hutchinson to address price gouging in the state and has put into effect price gouging law. 

The law prohibits businesses from charging more than 10% above the pre-disaster price of goods or services.

Rutledge said a pharmacy in Central Arkansas price gouged cases of water from $4 to $8 after the outbreak. She said the state will be holding those responsible for price gouging. The penalty is high, for every violation, meaning each item sold, you can receive a fine of up to $10,000.

Rutledge announced an additional free webcast training hosted by the office on Thursday, March 19. The webcasts will be an opportunity for Arkansans to learn from consumer protection experts about the recent price gouging concerns sweeping the state, all from the comfort and safety of their own homes.

“The Governor has declared a state of emergency triggering our price gouging laws,” Rutledge said. “This free webcast will allow Arkansans to stay informed from the safety of their own homes.”

Rutledge will be hosting the following webcasts for free to any interested viewers:

  • Consumer Protection: Price Gouging - Thursday, March 19 at 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
  • Missing Persons Webcast – Wednesday, April 8, 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
  • Freedom of Information Act Webcast – Thursday, April 16 at 10:00 a.m. to noon.

Interested Arkansans can sign up for the free webcasts at ArkansasAG.gov or call (800) 482-8982.

The governor told the public to avoid "panic buying" during this time.

ADH has activated a call center to answer questions from health care providers and the public about the novel coronavirus. During normal business hours (8 a.m.– 4:30 p.m.), urgent and non-urgent calls, please call 1-800-803-7847. After normal business hours, urgent calls needing immediate response, please call 501-661-2136.