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Texas Family Accuses La Quinta Hotel Of Price Gouging During Winter Storms

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - "The money was more important than human life." That's what one Texas family is accusing a hotel of after they were forced to seek shelter during the devastating winter storms in February.

The family said a La Quinta hotel in San Antonio raised prices while they stayed there. They are also part of a price gouging lawsuit filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

Paxton alleged the hotel charged exorbitant prices for rooms when families without power or water at their homes were seeking shelter.

Randy Anderson talked to KENS 5 and said the family was trying to keep their 101-year-old grandmother alive during historically low temperatures after they lost power and water.

"Any kind of cold could bring on pneumonia or any respiratory thing that could take grandma away from us," Anderson said. "... We just wanted to get her shelter and keep her safe and keep the children warm."

The family of six booked two rooms at a La Quinta. After three days of staying there, they received news from a manager that prices were going up.

"She said it was going from $74 bucks a night to $199 a night," Anderson said.

Anderson said he recorded the conversation and asked for a reason for the price increase.

"She said it is like the airlines. She said 'I am like the airlines. I can change the prices when I want,'" Anderson said. "She said 'what you have to understand is there are a lot of people who want to come here and pay $199 right now,'"

The family said their pastor paid more than $200 per room for them.

"You don't treat people or have them in a desperate situation and squeeze more out of them because you can," Anderson said.

According to Paxton, there are other families that also have similar claims.

KENS 5 reached out to the company that operates the La Quinta hotel. An person who said he was an employee said they do not agree with Paxton and that they were not price gouging.

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