On September 23, Mintz achieved an unprecedented victory on behalf of clients Quality King Distributors, Inc. and its Chief Executive Officer Glenn Nussdorf when Justice Eileen Rakower of the New York County Supreme Court dismissed in its entirety an expedited proceeding for alleged price-gouging brought by the New York State Attorney General. Notably, this is the first time in over 40 years that a defendant has won such a case.
Following a four-hour virtual hearing, Justice Rakower ruled from the bench, absolving Quality King and Mr. Nussdorf of any wrongdoing. In reaching the conclusion that Quality King had not engaged in price-gouging as a matter of law, she stated that Quality King’s pricing did not “indicate any use of unfair leverage, an abuse of bargaining power or unconscionable means,” among other findings. In addition, the court analyzed hundreds of pages of legal arguments and evidence and concluded that the Attorney General had not even stated a case against Mr. Nussdorf.
“The petition brought by New York’s Attorney General under the State’s vague and ambiguous anti-price-gouging statute was legally ill-conceived and factually misleading,” said Mintz Member Anthony J. Viola. “If it is proven, price-gouging is a serious problem. But Quality King voluntarily and responsibly worked with the Attorney General’s office to supply information and answer questions, and ask for guidance about the vague and ambiguous law. Instead of engaging in good faith, the Attorney General chose to sue.”
Mr. Viola added: “We are grateful to the court for its time and attention, and that our clients have been vindicated and their names cleared.”
The Mintz litigation team that advised Quality King and its CEO was led by Mr. Viola and included Members Patricia L. Kantor and Jason P.W. Halperin, Special Counsel Andre K. Cizmarik, and Associate Iris Hsiao.
Quality King is a national wholesale distributor of over 5,000 items spanning many categories including health and beauty, household, general merchandise, and grocery. Based in Suffolk County, New York, Quality King has been supplying customers for over 60 years, providing dependable services and value. The company’s press release on this significant decision is available here.