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Carl W. Hittinger, left, and Ann O'Brien,right, of Baker Hostetler. Carl W. Hittinger, left, and Ann O’Brien,right, of Baker Hostetler.

At the beginning of this pandemic, we reported on the growing number of price-gouging cases in the United States due to the COVID-19 health crisis. Back in March, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that aimed to prevent price gouging and hoarding of crucial medical and health supplies needed to fight COVID-19. The executive order invoked the Defense Production Act and for certain items designated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, such as personal protective equipment (PPE) and ventilators, only made it a misdemeanor for individuals and companies to accumulate these items either (1) in excess of reasonable needs or (2) for the purpose of selling them in excess of prevailing market prices.  

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