A woman in Texas is allegedly charging $300 per person to avoid the catastrophic floods currently engulfing Houston.
Ices Bragg told CNN‘s Don Lemon about the sordid state of affairs in an interview late last night.
During the segment, Lemon asks Bragg, “You told us last hour that one of your neighbors was trying to go upstairs to another apartment and what happened?” Bragg replies,”The lady had told her that if she had $300 to come in to her apartment she would let her.”
Lemon responds, “Wow. Unbelievable.”
Bragg then affirms, “Yes sir, it is.”
The unverified report, if true, could carry some legal ramifications for the upstairs capitalist looking to profit off of other’s misery. Price gouging is illegal in Texas once the governor has declared a state of emergency. And the Lone Star State has long had one of the most thoroughgoing sets of consumer protection laws on the books.
Section 17.46(b) of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act defines price-gouging as:
1. Selling or leasing fuel, food, medicine or another necessity at an exorbitant or excessive price; or
2. Demanding an exorbitant or excessive price in connection with the sale or lease of fuel, food, medicine or another necessity.
Under the present circumstances–Houston is experiencing torrential flood waters to the tune of 15 trillion gallons and the destruction is compounded by the fact that the city is completely unprepared for such a natural disaster–shelter from the storm would almost certainly qualify as a necessity.
The Texas Attorney General’s Office has already received over 500 complaints of price gouging and is apparently taking those complaints seriously. That could spell trouble for our aforementioned entrepreneur.
But perhaps the woman is a follower of the prosperity gospel and is simply taking her cues from Pastor Joel Osteen.
[image via screengrab]
Follow Colin Kalmbacher on Twitter: @colinkalmbacher
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