3M filed a legal action in federal court in Florida against an Orlando-based defendant that twice attempted to fraudulently sell tens of millions of likely nonexistent 3M N95 respirators at grossly inflated prices to the federal Division of Strategic National Stockpile, all the while falsely affiliating itself with 3M. The defendant falsely blamed the prices on 3M, claiming that 3M had changed prices «several times» in just a few days when 3M has not changed the prices it charges for respirators.
This latest action follows the company’s filed legal actions in New York, Texas, and California in the past week, as part of its national and global efforts to fight price gouging and counterfeiting. Basically, it was the fourth such lawsuit filed in the US in the past 5 days. «It is a collaborative effort – tells Legalcommunity.ch Elmar Büth, General Counsel Supply Chain & Healthcare Business EMEA at 3M – and includes several of our law firms who volunteered immediately to jump in and help 3M stop the illegal activity».
Indeed, this concern also Europe. In Emea region, «we aggressively pursue those who seek to take advantage of the crisis and we are committed to combating price gouging, fraud and counterfeit activity in connection with our products and the Covid-19 outbreak. We received multiple reports of people fraudulently representing themselves as being affiliated with 3M, selling 3M products at grossly inflated prices, selling counterfeit products falsely claimed to be from 3M and falsely claiming to manufacture 3M products. In several countries we referred such cases to local and regional law enforcement authorities», he points out.
Furthermore, Büth specifies that «3M is also working with large e-marketplace operators on a coordinated plan to identify and remove counterfeiters and price-gougers from their sites and refer them to the appropriate law enforcement authorities. If customers have concerns about potentially fraudulent activity, price gouging, or counterfeit 3M products, they can report their concerns through our website».