Posted April 14, 2020

3M sues to fight N95 respirator price gouging

3M has 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.

According to 3M, the defendant attempted to sell the respirators to the federal Division of Strategic National Stockpile, 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.

The complaint seeks injunctive relief to require Geftico LLC to cease its illegal activities, and also requests damages. 3M will donate any damages recovered to COVID-19-related nonprofit organizations.

“3M will continue to take action against those who exploit the demand for N95 respirators used by healthcare workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 fight,” said Denise Rutherford, 3M senior vice president, Corporate Affairs. “We will continue to work with state, federal and international law enforcement to root out illegal behavior and put a stop to it.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reached out to 3M and reported that Geftico made the offers in March and April. 3M confirmed that Geftico was not affiliated with 3M and that such a quantity of 3M respirators did not exist as represented by the defendant.

3M is working with national and international law enforcement, state Attorneys General, and the largest online retail and tech companies in the world to identify illegal activity and help punish criminals. The goal is to prevent fraud before it starts and stop it where it is happening.

The Florida lawsuit is the latest in a series of legal actions 3M has filed over the past week in the fight against price gouging and counterfeiting.