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Lawyer For Putnam County Store Denies It Engaged In Price Gouging

Reported: Feb. 18, 2014 8:48 AM EST
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HURRICANE, W.Va. (AP) -- A Putnam County store owner's lawyer said his client didn't illegally raise water prices following a chemical spill.

Lawyer Tom Peyton told the Charleston Gazette that Achraf Assi gave away water after the Jan. 9 spill left 300,000 people in nine counties without useable tap water.

Attorney General Patrick Morrissey filed an enforcement action on Friday in Putnam County Circuit Court against Assi's business, Hurricane-based Mid Valley Mart LLC. Morrisey alleges that Mid Valley Mart more than doubled prices for one-gallon water jugs at two Hurricane stores.

It's illegal in West Virginia to raise prices on essential products and services by more than 10 percent in a state of emergency.

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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