As we reported in September of last year, our firm, along with several firms across the United States, is seeking billions in lost revenues improperly pocketed by the oil industry in the “Hot Fuel” case in Kansas Federal Court. The case is ongoing in nature, and currently involves claims brought by 46 Plaintiffs against more than 130 oil industry Defendants in 26 states.
Motor fuel, like most liquids, expands in volume as its temperature rises. However, motor fuel’s mass (commonly referred to as the energy within matter) remains constant as its volume increases due to rising temperatures. Energy regulators and oil entities have been aware of this well-known phenomenon since the turn of the century. As a result, these regulators created a standard measurement for the sale of motor fuel where at 60 degrees a gallon is 231 cubic inches. This measurement was designed to ensure fairness and consistency.
Unfortunately, fairness only applies to the billion dollar oil tycoons and not the average consumer at retail. We have discovered that the oil entities, like the regulators, have been well aware of thermal expansion in gasoline for quite some time. In fact, U.S. oil companies and distributors track and adjust prices to conform to the 60 degree temperature designation at every level of the supply chain process; every stage that is, except the consumer’s purchase. Because U.S. temperatures exceed 60 degrees for the majority of the year, consumers are purchasing “expanded” gallons of motor fuel at a set price per gallon. As a result, consumers are not getting what they pay for at the pump, and oil companies are pocketing billions to go along with their world-record profits.
Currently, we are diligently working through discovery to uncover the Defendant’s concerted effort to sell consumers less fuel than they pay for. The Defendants claim the technology to regulate the temperature of motor fuel does not exist. At the same time, they have installed devices in Canada, where the temperature is much cooler and consumers subsequently get more fuel than they pay for. They additionally argue that the process would be too expensive, all while they are making world-record profits.
Consumers from across this country have witnessed firsthand the mortgage industry’s crash, stock market woes, unprecedented job cuts, rising food costs and roller coaster fuel prices. The “Hot Fuel” problem, like many of our country’s problems, centers on one thing: corporate greed. We are pleased to be working with a number of law firms around the country to ensure fairness to the average consumer and hold the oil companies accountable for their actions. Rhon Jones, our Toxic Torts Section Head, along with Parker Miller, have taken leadership roles in the case. If you want additional information on this subject you can contact either of these lawyers at 800-898-2034.
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