Hot-Fuel Claims Dismissed Against 15 Companies

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- A hot-fuel lawsuit dating back to 2007 could be winding down as several plaintiffs agreed to dismiss claims against 15 companies.

The issue behind hot fuel refers to when diesel and gasoline are sold warmer than the standard 60 degrees Fahrenheit. While fuel temperature is compensated for at all points of the refining and wholesale fuel process, it's not at the retail pump. When fuel is warmer than the standard, it expands, giving consumers less energy for the price, as CSNews Online previously reported.

In U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kan., last week, plaintiffs’ lawyers in 22 cases agreed to dismiss claims against several defendants, including 7-Eleven Inc., Circle K Stores, QuikTrip and Pilot Travel Centers, reported the Topeka Capital-Journal.

Several larger retailers have already reached settlements in their cases. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and its Sam's Club subsidiary, along with Valero Energy Corp. and Casey's General Stores Inc. in Ankeny, Iowa, reached an settlement agreements with the plaintiffs in April 2012, as CSNews Online previously reported.

The retailers' 2012 agreements came less than two weeks after it was revealed that BP Products North America Inc., as well as ConocoPhillips Inc. and Shell Oil Products US had reached a settlement over the legal action.

However, a federal jury in Kansas City, Kan., also ruled in favor of several companies in 2012, according to the newspaper report.

Tristan L. Duncan, a Kansas City lawyer who represented the companies whose cases were recently dismissed, said in a prepared statement that the 15 companies "are looking forward to putting these lawsuits behind them." The cases were dismissed without any form of settlement, she said.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs didn't return calls seeking comment Tuesday, the news outlet added.


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