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.
Community Interviews with Moose FM
“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.
Story continues below advertisement
“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,