AG reaches $100K settlement in Hurricane Florence price-gouging investigation

Piles of storm debris left behind from Hurricane Florence in Pender County. (Photo: WWAY)

PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Attorney General Josh Stein announced a settlement with an Idaho-based water damage restoration company over a price-gouging investigation he launched in 2019 in the wake of Hurricane Florence.

“I’m pleased that my office was able to reach a settlement that prevents this company from imposing any further financial harm to hardworking North Carolinians who were trying to repair their homes after Hurricane Florence,” Attorney General Josh Stein said. “My office will continue to aggressively enforce North Carolina’s price gouging statute and protect consumers.”

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Attorney General Stein began investigating Boise Disaster Services LLC/Servpro of Boise after receiving complaints about it overcharging for water damage cleanup work from residents in a condo building in Pender County. Prior to the investigation, Servpro filed a lien action against the condo owners seeking nearly $100,000 from them.

The settlement results in the dismissal of Servpro of Boise’s lawsuit against the homeowners and cancels all of their outstanding balances, totaling more than $100,000. It also prohibits the company from engaging in actions that violate North Carolina’s Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act and price gouging statute in the future.

The Attorney General’s Office has won more than $825,000 in these judgments and the settlement announced Thursday, including:

  • $242,500 in consumer restitution
  • $492,500 in money companies are barred from collecting from homeowners
  • $94,500 in penalties and fees

A copy of the settlement is available here.