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Henderson firms accused of hurricane price-gouging | Courier & Press

HENDERSON, Ky. – Two Henderson firms are being accused of price gouging in North Carolina in the wake of Hurricane Florence.

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein has filed two separate price gouging lawsuits involving tree removal in the Wilmington, N.C. area, according to a press release from the North Carolina Department of Justice.

In the first suit, two Henderson, Kentucky-based tree cutting and landscaping services, Action Tree Pros of Henderson and Premier Landscaping and Lawn Care, allegedly charged excessive prices for tree removal services, including $29,500 to remove one tree.

According to their website, Action Tree Pros is “based out of Henderson, KY, but we also have nationwide offices to handle storm response, qualified line clearance, and all of your tree service needs. We have the equipment, resources, and experience to handle the most complex and dangerous projects possible, and we have earned a reputation over many years for safe, professional, and competitive tree service work that is unmatched in the market.”

The other suit, filed against Scotts Tree Service, alleges that the company charged homeowners an excessive amount for tree removal, added inflated price figures to a previously signed statement of work, and sent a falsified estimate to a debt collection agency. Goldberg & Donovan, Inc., the debt collection agency, is named as a co-defendant in the suit, does not have a permit to collect debts in North Carolina, and is alleged to have harassed the homeowner.

“Each of these cases is a perfect example of why we have a price gouging statute in North Carolina,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “These out-of-state operators inflate their prices to take advantage of people’s vulnerability as they try to cope with the effects of Hurricane Florence. It’s heartless, illegal, and my office will not allow it.”

In each of these cases, the Attorney General is seeking temporary, preliminary, and permanent injunctive relief against the defendants, along with restitution for victims, civil penalties, attorney fees, and other relief.

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Henderson firms accused of hurricane price-gouging.