AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit Thursday against the biggest egg supplier in Texas for price gouging.
Paxton says Cal-Maine Foods, Inc., has increased prices for eggs by up to 300% without any real supply issues or disruptions.
“No one is exempt from price gouging laws in Texas, including suppliers of grocery stores and pharmacies,” Attorney General Paxton said.
“My office will not tolerate any person or business taking advantage of hardworking Texans. Those who violate the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act will be met with the full force of the law,” he said.
Cal-Maine Foods spokesperson Jeff Eller sent a statement to KXAN defending the company.
“We strongly disagree with the allegations made by Attorney General Paxton. Since 1958, we have operated with honesty and integrity. We are steadfast in our belief these charges are grossly unfair and without merit. The domestic egg market is intensely competitive and highly volatile. For decades, we have priced most of our sales off an independent, third-party market quote published by Urner Barry Publications, Inc. We have no control over this market quote and it fluctuates wildly from week to week and sometimes day to day. We have been consistent in our pricing practices whether we sell at a profit or at a loss. We will vigorously defend ourselves from this government overreach into agriculture, and look forward to speaking more in the future.”Jeff Eller, Cal-Maine Foods, Inc., spokesperson
Price gouging laws apply to any company or person selling necessary items or foods at increased prices after a disaster declaration by either the President or Governor.
Under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, people or entities caught price gouging could pay civil penalties of up to $10,000 per violation and an additional $250,000 if those consumers are elderly.
This lawsuit is one of the latest pursued by Attorney General Paxton, as last week he called for companies to come clean when it comes to claims surrounding COVID-19 cures.
People who think they are a victim of a scam or price gouging can call the Attorney General’s toll-free complaint line at (800) 621-0508 or file a complaint online.