§732.  Price gouging; prohibited

A.  During a state of emergency as declared by the governor or as declared by the parish president, the prices charged or value received for goods and services sold within the designated emergency area may not exceed the prices ordinarily charged for comparable goods and services in the same market area at or immediately before the time of the state of emergency, unless the price by the seller is attributable to fluctuations in applicable commodity markets, fluctuations in applicable regional or national market trends, or to reasonable expenses and charges and attendant business risk incurred in procuring or selling the goods or services during the state of emergency.  Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, it shall not be deemed a violation of this Section if the prices charged for goods and services sold within the designated emergency area by an individual in the same market area, at or immediately before the time of the emergency, have not changed except as allowed herein during a state of emergency declared in accordance with this Section.

B.  The prohibition as provided for in Subsection A of this Section is effective for an initial period not to exceed thirty days pursuant to the initial declared state of emergency as referenced in R.S. 29:724, and shall be renewed only by specific reference in any subsequent proclamations renewing the declared state of emergency by the governor.

C.  Each sale or offer for sale in violation of this Section constitutes a separate offense.

D.  The penalties provided in R.S. 29:734 are in addition to civil remedies provided by law, including attorney fees.

E.  Local governing authorities may adopt appropriate ordinances to implement the provisions of this Section.

F.(1)  Notwithstanding any provision of this Section to the contrary, this Section shall apply to gasoline or diesel fuel of any grade or formula sold or offered for sale within the designated emergency area for ultimate use in the operation of motor vehicles, generators, power tools, or small engines.

(2)  For purposes of this Subsection, the term “sale” shall include any transaction involving the transfer of gasoline or diesel fuel at the terminal until purchase by the ultimate consumer at a service station, convenience store or other fixed retail facility.

(3)  The provisions of this Section shall also apply to the sale, or offer for sale, of gasoline or diesel fuel to the ultimate consumer from any facility other than a service station, convenience store, or other similar fixed facility, including sales in which such gasoline or diesel fuel is sold by any person from any container irrespective of type, form, or volume.

G.  Nothing in this Section shall be construed so as to create a private cause of action in favor of any person damaged by a violation of this Section.

Acts 1993, No. 800, §1, eff. June 22, 1993; Acts 2005, No. 149, §1; Acts 2008, No. 756, §1; Acts 2009, No. 494, §2; Acts 2009, No. 512, §1; Acts 2010, No. 163, §1.