Coronavirus: 3M files lawsuit against Canadian firm accused of price gouging N95 masks

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The U.S. company at the centre of a short-lived dispute with the White House over medical-gear exports to Canada is going to court with an Ontario reseller it accuses of profiteering during the COVID-19 pandemic by selling coveted N95 face masks at exorbitant prices.

A notice of application filed Tuesday in Ontario Superior Court in Windsor, Ont., alleges that Caonic Systems Inc. set up a web domain on the e-commerce platform Shopify and used it to sell masks it claimed had been made by Minnesota-based 3M in Singapore and the United Kingdom.

It further alleges that Caonic claimed a phoney affiliation with 3M and continued to market the masks on different Shopify-based sites even after receiving a complaint, charging US$17 apiece for the masks — more than five times the $3 list price.

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“At 3M we are working hard to continue to increase production of respirators for the health-care workers who need them the most in the fight against COVID-19,” senior vice-president Denise Rutherford said in a news release.

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“We are dedicated to putting a stop to those who are trying to cash in on this crisis and have taken legal action when we’ve identified illegal behaviour in New York,

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