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Courts and Crime

Ohio Attorney General gets more than 50 complaints of water price gouging
DeWine says he is investigating whether businesses raised water prices during water ban

Lyndsey Schley
The Attorney General says he received complaints some Toledo businesses were raising prices on water bottles during the water ban.
Courtesy of Steven Depolo
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The Ohio Attorney General’s investigation into reports of water price gouging during Toledo’s water ban has yielded more than 50 complaints.

Attorney General Mike DeWine says that his office is working to determine whether stores raised prices on bottled water during the nearly 72 hours of Toledo’s water shut off earlier this month.

DeWine says Ohio law does not specifically qualify what counts as price gouging, but his office will be able to determine whether it occurred from the facts of the incidents.


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"So, for example, if you already had the product on your shelf and an emergency comes up and your triple the price on that particular product, it very well fall under the Consumer Sales practice Act as a violation," DeWine says.

DeWine says this is different from when a retailer has to pay more and raise prices due to scarcity.

The water ban was spurred by tests that showed high levels of toxins believed to come from algae blooms in Lake Erie.

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