Court blocks tree removal company after price-gouging claim
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina judge is shutting down a tree-removal company temporarily after the state’s attorney general accused it of price gouging after Hurricane Florence.
Multiple media organizations reported that the state Attorney General’s office secured a preliminary injunction Monday against A1 Tree & Storm Relief of Lexington. That means that business owner Alva Wilson Lewis and his crew cannot remove trees or clear storm damage until the state’s lawsuit against them is settled.
State attorneys said the business had overcharged desperate customers in the Wilmington area after the storm, including tripling an initial quote of $4,000 to remove three trees for one homeowner. A tree expert estimated the value of the work at $6,400 or less.
Lewis denied he was taking advantage of the emergency to hike his prices.