7/31/20

3M Sues Seller Who Charged Grossly Inflated Prices for N95 Respirators and Falsely Advertised a Relationship With 3M

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Attorneys & Professionals

A new Ohio lawsuit, filed by a team of Vorys lawyers, is part of 3M’s global effort to combat fraud and price gouging and help protect the public against those exploiting the demand for critical products during the COVID-19 pandemic.

3M filed the legal action in federal court in Ohio, asserting that a seller, Preventative Wellness Consultants LLC, falsely claimed to have access to millions of 3M brand N95 respirators and organized a fraudulent scheme to offer them for sale at inflated prices to the public, private corporations and public health agencies.

The complaint seeks both monetary damages and injunctive relief to require the defendant to cease its unlawful activities.  After being served with the lawsuit, Preventative Wellness Consultants LLC admitted to its wrongdoing and agreed to a Consent Judgment that prohibits it from continuing to represent it has 3M products to sell or any relationship with 3M.  Preventative Wellness Consultants LLC also agreed to a monetary payment.  3M will donate the monetary payment to COVID-19-related nonprofit organizations.

Due to the number of fraudulent or counterfeit product offerings around the world, 3M has deployed its internal and external litigation team in its efforts combat this fraud. In this case, 3M is represented by Rick Schuster, Susan Harty, Bill Kloss and Kara Mundy from Vorys.

3M has not changed the prices it charges for respirators as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Including this legal action, 3M has filed more than 15 lawsuits in its fight against fraud, price gouging and counterfeiting. 3M has won five temporary restraining orders and five preliminary injunction orders from courts across the country that put a stop to other defendants’ unlawful and unethical profiteering from the pandemic.  3M is also working with the Department of Justice and numerous state Attorney Generals to put a stop to price gouging and fraudulent activity by entities claiming to offer 3M products.