3M Sues New Jersey Firm Over Price Gouging
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3M Sues New Jersey Firm Over Price Gouging

The Minnesota manufacturer has filed a lawsuit against Performance Supply LLC for allegedly inflating the price of N95 respirators

Alleging price gouging and deceptive trade practices, 3M on Friday filed a federal lawsuit against New Jersey-based Performance Supply LLC.

In the suit, the Minnesota manufacturer says Performance Supply attempted to sell N95 respirators to New York City leaders at prices 500 percent to 600 percent above 3M’s list price. Performance Supply also claimed affiliation with 3M, according to the complaint.

“3M will not stop here. We continue to work with federal and state law enforcement authorities, and around the world, to investigate and track down those who are illegally taking advantage of this situation for their own gain,” 3M senior vice president Denise Rutherford said in a news release.

With the lawsuit, 3M looks to have Performance Supply LLC to stop price gouging and other deceptive activities. 3M also seeks damages for the New Jersey company’s actions. 3M says any recovered money will be donated to nonprofits working on Covid-19 relief efforts.

“3M does not, and will not, tolerate price gouging, fraud, deception, or other activities that unlawfully exploit the demand for critical 3M products during a pandemic,” Rutherford said.

This lawsuit follows the company’s other actions and collaboration with law enforcement, tech companies, and attorneys general to address counterfeiting and price gouging.

“3M is also making referrals to law enforcement authorities, taking down websites with fraudulent or counterfeit product offerings, removing false or deceptive social media pages, and sending cease and desist letters as a first step prior to taking further legal action,” Rutherford added.

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison has urged Minnesotans to report any price gouging or exploitive actions during the pandemic.

“Unfortunately, any number of wrongdoers seek to exploit the current public health emergency and prey on innocent parties through a variety of scams involving 3M N95 respirators and other products in high demand,” the criminal complaint stated. “These scams include unlawful price-gouging, fake offers, counterfeiting, and other unfair and deceptive practices—all of which undercut the integrity of the marketplace and constitute an ongoing threat to public health and safety.”