Hawaii Drivers Seek Payments

HONOLULU, Hawaii -- The state?s price-fixing lawsuit against several gasoline companies could lead to a billion dollars in damages, but the attorney general said if the state wins money it should not go directly to drivers.

Most people don't have records for the gas they paid for between 1991 and 1997 and that's why the attorney general said giving an award directly to drivers would be both impractical and unfair. State lawmakers want to deposit any cash awards to the state's highway fund.

Drivers said the state's plan is unfair, claiming if the state got a billion dollar court award, it could stop collecting gas taxes for more than a decade and still come out ahead.

The oil companies, which includes ChevronTexaco Corp., Shell Oil Co. and BP Plc, have asked the judge to take the trial somewhere other than Hawaii, because they said Hawaii jurors may be influenced by the potential cash awards.
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