Hawkins Parnell Secures Dismissal for Retailer in California Unfair Competition Litigation

April 13, 2023 – Press Release

April 13, 2023 (Los Angeles, CA) – Michael Giaquinto of Hawkins Parnell & Young obtained a dismissal for a national retailer of paint and construction material products in a civil price gouging case in Los Angeles.

Plaintiff claimed Hawkins Parnell's client violated California's Unfair Competition Laws and the Consumer Legal Remedies Act throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and when Governor Gavin Newsom extended California's price gouging prohibition through executive order N-44-20. During the discovery process, it was shown that the plaintiff could not satisfy the nexus requirement of UCL claims because there was a connection between the emergency and the purportedly excessive prices charged.

In response to comprehensive discovery, the plaintiff also could not produce any evidence that prices charged for the goods in question were 10 percent greater than the price charged immediately before COVID-19 declarations of emergency from President Donald Trump on March 13, 2020, and Governor Gavin Newson on March 14, 2020, respectively. Lacking the critical evidence to support the essential elements of the claims under the UCL, the plaintiff dismissed his claims against Hawkins Parnell's client.