Class-Action Lawsuit Filed Against Shell Oil

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Class-Action Lawsuit Filed Against Shell Oil

06/08/2004
DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla.-- A class-action lawsuit has been filed in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit in and for Miami-Dade County, Fla., on behalf of Florida residents who purchased gasoline contaminated with excessive sulfur from Shell Oil.

On May 28, hundreds of Shell stations in Florida halted their gasoline sales after a refining company determined that gas distributed from terminals in Tampa and Port Everglades contained excessive sulfur. Sulfur-contaminated fuel often corrodes silver sensors in fuel gauges. The cost to repair the damaged fuel gauges can be several hundred dollars, and in some cases in excess of $1,000.

According to one news report, Shell admitted to receiving about 15,000 calls from consumers in Florida, Mississippi and Louisiana about the contaminated gas, and approximately 9,000 claims have been filed to fix faulty gas gauges in these states. The complaint alleges that it is likely that Shell sold the contaminated gasoline despite its knowledge of the damage it could cause to motor vehicles, and without warning any Florida consumers of the problem.

Sulfur is a natural component of crude oil. However, the vast majority of the sulfur is removed during proper refining of the oil prior to sale to consumers as gasoline for automobiles.