2 N.J. Gas Stations Settle Suit Over Alleged Price Gouging After Sandy

April 18, 2013

Two gas stations in New Jersey will pay a combined $46,000 to settle claims they gouged gas prices following Superstorm Sandy.

The state attorney general’s office and the division of consumer affairs announced the settlement Wednesday with the stations in Clifton and Piscataway. The station owners did not admit wrongdoing.

The settlement states the Clifton station hiked the cost of regular gas from $3.49 to $4.69. The station in Piscataway upped the cost from $3.79 to $4.49.

Sandy badly damaged ports that accept fuel tankers and flooded underground equipment that sends fuel through pipelines. Without power, fuel terminals couldn’t pump gasoline onto tanker trucks and gas stations couldn’t get deliveries.

The temporary problems sent drivers racing to what pumps were available, creating miles-long lines at stations that did have fuel.

State law prohibits hiking prices more than 10 percent of normal cost during a state of emergency and for 30 days after. Both stations hiked prices for more than a week after Sandy, which was the height of the gas crisis.

More than 50 consumer complaints came out of the Clifton station and 16 out of the Piscataway station.

The two stations are among 24 businesses sued by the state last year for gouging after Sandy. More than 2,000 consumer complaints about price gouging were filed in the days after the storm hit.

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