‘Hot fuel’ cases hit with second punch

The judge presiding over the multi-district “hot fuel” litigation has ruled in favor of Chevron regarding California plaintiffs, but proposed class action suits remain against the company in other states.

In Kansas City, U.S. District Judge Kathryn Vratil ruled July 19 California law does not require retailers to disclose the effects of temperature expansion on fuel. The plaintiffs had argued warmer fuel contains less energy and therefore lower value.

Class action claims made 2006-2007 against motor fuel retailers in 26 states and the District of Columbia were consolidated under Vratil. Consumers argued selling fuel without disclosing or adjusting for temperature expansion violates consumer protection and other laws in these states.

Last September, a jury in the multi-district case returned a verdict in favor of QuikTrip, 7-Eleven and Kum & Go. The companies denied knowingly selling fuel that contained less energy per gallon because it expanded in warmer temperatures.

Still, several other retailers settled during 2012 regarding sales practices in affected states.

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