The plaintiffs argue that warmer fuel contains less energy and therefore lower value and that retailers did not disclose this theory nor the temperature of fuel sold. They charge consumers could not make accurate price decisions because they incorrectly believed the product was consistent in the fuel or energy provided.
On Sept. 13, Chief Judge Kathryn Vratil of the U.S. District Court of Kansas told the jury the requirements for a guilty verdict under the Kansas Consumer Protection Act.
BP, ConocoPhillips, Costco, Casey’s General Stores, Shell Valero Energy, Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club have reached settlements since the lawsuits began in 2007.
They would have to agree retailers did not disclose a relationship between temperature and energy content or the temperature of retail fuel to consumers. “To prove that defendant violated the KCPA, plaintiff does not have to prove both of these theories,” she wrote.
The suit is being heard under multidistrict litigation, a federal court procedure where one judge hears all pending similar civil cases that are filed nationwide.
More information on the case is available here.