Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine
The leading manufacturer of N95 masks in the U.S. says it has investigated 4,000 reports of fraud, counterfeiting and price gouging in connection with the product and is filed 18 lawsuits.
3M based in Maplewood, is among the largest global producers of the N95 mask, which has been approved by the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety.
3M says courts have issued six temporary restraining orders and for preliminary injunctions so far to stop N95 sales that it says are unlawful.
The company says in some cases, it has led to criminal charges.
“The schemes we shutdown were not only unlawful, they also endangered lives and wasted precious time and resources by diverting buyers from legitimate sources of much-needed respirators,” said Denise Rutherford, 3M Senior VP of corporate affairs.
In one case filed in the U.S. District Court in Minnesota, 3M sued Legacy Medical Supplies and for people connected with the company, claiming they were trying to sell 3M brand N95 respirators at a 75% to 267% markup over 3M’s list price, the Star Tribune reported.
To take advantage of the global Covid-19 pandemic is as low as anybody could go.
Here we have a major company, 3M, trying to do the best thing possible by mass-producing a much-needed respirator(mask) knowing that they could easily double the price. No, 3M will not take advantage.
It is, however, terrible that they have to take legal action against a lot of small fries that are trying to extort dollars from the general public.
I hope everyone involved gets heavily fined and spends some time behind bars. You never know, anyone going to prison may contract Covid-19 because there will not be any N95 masks available to protect inmates because of the price gouging. (poetic justice)
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Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.