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Dozens of retailers and farms have been named in the class action lawsuit in California alleging they grossly marked up the price of eggs since Governor Newsom issued the declaration of emergency on March 4.
Some of the retailers named include Costco, Trader Joe’s, Kroger, Walmart. According to the lawsuit filed by multiple plaintiffs it accuses these retailers of “the despicable and illegal practice of price-gouging of essential groceries”
The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
“As in any time of economic turmoil, there are those who seek to profit from the misery of millions. Defendants, who are producers, wholesalers, and retailers of eggs, comprise one such set of actors seeking to unfairly profit from the increased consumer demand for eggs in the midst of the ongoing crisis,”
– Excerpt from Lawsuit
Despite the lawsuit Trader Joe’s and Costco have denied engaging in price gouging
“This case has no merit. Even while our costs were rising, we chose not to raise our prices on eggs during the time referenced. In fact, for a period of time, we lost money on eggs because of this. Some basic homework by these attorneys would have shown that our egg pricing was another example of how Trader Joe¹s does everything we can to keep prices down for our customers.”
– Trader Joe’s Spokesperson
“Costco Wholesale has not engaged in price gouging in the sale of eggs. To the contrary, it has lodged complaints with governmental authorities that egg suppliers have charged Costco increased prices that did not seem in line with feed and production costs of those suppliers.”
– Costco Spokesperson
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has reported that the cost of eggs has nearly tripled since the start of the coronavirus pandemic due to supply and demand
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