Gretchen Jankowski, co-chair of the firm's Litigation section, comments on the application of price gouging statutes in New York in ProPublica's article "In Desperation, New York State Pays Up to 15 Times the Normal Prices for Medical Equipment."
Normally, there's no such crime as price gouging. In most states, it's only illegal during a declared state of emergency. During the current crisis, New York and other states have activated their price gouging statutes. However, most of these laws only apply to the sale of consumer goods and services, not to purchases by states or by private or nonprofit businesses, said Gretchen Jankowski, a commercial litigation attorney with Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney. In order to go after a company for price gouging the state in Michigan, for instance, prosecutors would have to prove price fixing or fraud — a much higher bar.