Quality King hit with price gouging lawsuit amid coronavirus

The New York Attorney General has sued wholesaler Quality King and its CEO for hiking the price of Lysol products by 50 percent amid the pandemic.

“Quality King’s profiteering during this time of crisis is appalling,” said Attorney General Letitia James. “Instead of ensuring New Yorkers could protect themselves from this virus and stop the spread, Quality King chose to prey on a global pandemic to line its own pockets.”

The lawsuit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court Wednesday alleges that Quality King, which supplies neighborhood grocery and discount stores, and its CEO Glenn Nussdorf, violated New York law by price gouging.

From January to April of this year, Quality King charged as much as $9.15 for Lysol Disinfectant Spray, up from $4.15 pre-pandemic even though the company hadn’t incurred increased costs, the suit says.

The price increase was passed on to consumers who were forced to pay as much as $16.99 for one can of Lysol which previously cost $5 to $8.

Quality King’s avarice has “wrought great damage” upon New Yorkers who needed disinfectant products to kill coronavirus on surfaces in their homes, the suit charges.

The lawsuit asks for an injunction against the company and CEO barring the illegal conduct, restitution to consumers who overpaid and a civil penalty.

The AG’s office said its Quality King investigation is part of a broader probe into price gouging. The office said it had received thousands of complaints from consumers who were charged excessive prices for essential products during the pandemic.

Quality King didn’t immediately return a request for comment.