Broad Strokes: COVID-19 and More
Partner and Former Maryland Attorney General

Understandably, much of the recent focus of the state Attorneys General has been on reacting to the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, state Attorneys General have been targeting companies that have been price gouging consumer necessities; supporting the needs of healthcare workers; and advising state educational systems. Moreover, state Attorneys General have been providing counsel and insights on the enforcement of executive orders implementing shutdowns and social distancing.

On the price gouging issue, almost every state Attorney General is receiving literally hundreds of complaints from consumers alleging that companies are artificially raising prices on necessities. State Attorneys General are issuing CIDs (civil investigative demands) to many of these companies and requiring a very short turnaround for document production. North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein, New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas and Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody have been amongst the most active. 

Meanwhile, the state Attorneys General remain vigilant in multistate efforts targeting e-cigarettes and opioids, and attacking Big Tech on antitrust grounds. One step lower, despite extremely thin legal underpinnings, some state Attorneys General are starting to probe internet lenders and their relationship to “true lenders”; continue their assault on Big Tech over privacy concerns; probe the use of PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances); and investigate student loan servicers regardless of clearly articulated federal preemption.

March 26, 2020 | Issue No. 2
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