For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, May 27, 2020
Laura Brewer (919) 716-6484
(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today announced that he obtained a preliminary injunction against Charlotte-based A1 Towing Solutions, Inc. and its owner David Jewel Satterfield. The preliminary injunction, signed by Superior Court Judge Craig Croom, limits fees the defendants can charge for towing and booting services, requires the defendants to release impounded vehicles after owners pay half the lien amount, and restricts business practices for the duration of the lawsuit.
“I’m pleased that the court has barred these defendants from taking advantage of any more consumers as we continue this lawsuit,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “My office will hold accountable price gougers who harm North Carolinians during this crisis.”
Attorney General filed the first price gouging lawsuit related to the COVID-19 state of emergency in North Carolina against the defendants on May 5, 2020. In his lawsuit, he alleged they violated North Carolina’s price gouging statute and engaged in deceptive trade practices and unfair debt collection practices.
According to the lawsuit, the defendants allegedly improperly and predatorily booted or towed trucks that were delivering food, water, bleach, or needed medical supplies during this pandemic and in spite of the trucks’ drivers having the permission of property owners to park their trucks on the property. After towing or booting the trucks, the defendants allegedly forced drivers to pay exorbitant amounts – up to $4,400.00 – for their release, and allegedly engaged in other illegal practices that resulted in the delay of delivery of critical supplies needed to respond to the pandemic. Attorney General Stein is seeking permanent injunctive relief against the defendants, as well as restitution for victims, civil penalties, and other relief.
North Carolina’s price gouging law went into effect on March 10, 2020, when Gov. Cooper declared a state of emergency in North Carolina in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Attorney General Stein and the North Carolina Department of Justice will be reviewing price gouging complaints from consumers closely and are prepared to take action against any businesses engaging in price gouging activities. To date, consumers have filed 2,001 complaints with the office. If you are concerned about a seller charging an unreasonably excessive price, please report potential price gouging by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or by filing a complaint at https://ncdoj.gov/file-a-complaint/price-gouging/.
A copy of the preliminary injunction is available here.
More on Attorney General Stein’s work to protect North Carolinians during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Attorney General Josh Stein Calls On Congress to Protect COVID-19 First Responders
- Attorney General Josh Stein Leads 39-State Coalition Urging Congress to Increase Internet Access During COVID-19
- Attorney General Josh Stein Commends FHFA Rule Change to Help Borrowers
- Attorney General Josh Stein Calls On Dept. of Education to Stop Garnishing Wages of Student Loan Borrowers
- Attorney General Josh Stein Calls on Congress to Strengthen Paycheck Protection Program
- For a full overview of this work, please visit gov/covid19