Court certifies class in ‘hot fuel’ case

| 10/23/2009

A U.S. District Court judge has certified a class affecting residents of 26 states in the ongoing case concerning “hot fuel.”

Plaintiffs in the consolidated case have accused fuel retailers of marketing and selling fuel without adjusting for the fuel’s temperature – and of profiting from selling more “gallons” when fuel is warmer than a wholesale standard of 60 degrees.

Costco Wholesalers, one of dozens of companies named in the lawsuit, informed residents of 26 states by mail that the court had certified the class and had “approved a proposed class action settlement.”

In the mailing, Costco said it would change the way it sells fuel should the court side with the plaintiffs.

“If the settlement is approved, Costco will install automatic temperature correcting pumps in certain states under specified conditions,” Costco said.

Plaintiffs are seeking damages for ill-gotten gains from fuel sold without temperature compensation between Jan. 1, 2001 and April 22, 2009 in the following states: AL, AZ, AR, CA, DE, FL, GA, IN, KS, KY, LA, MD, MS, MO, NV, NJ, NM, NC, OK, OR, PA, SC, TN, TX, UT and VA. Residents of Washington, DC, and Guam are also part of the class.

Residents may choose to opt out of the class in writing by Feb. 23, 2010.

– By David Tanner, staff writer