A number of BP, ARCO and AmPm franchise owners have sued BP, claiming the giant oil company manipulates gas supplies and prices. It’s alleged that BP delivers less gas when oil future prices are trending up and deliver more gas at a higher price when oil future prices are trending down. The lawsuit, filed in federal court, also claims that BP required franchisees to install a defective, centralized point-of-sale system that hurt their businesses and brought customer complaints. Green Desert Oil Group, the lead Plaintiff, claims that BP sold Plaintiffs ARCO-brand gas stations “on the notion that ARCO has been and would continue to be known for its low-priced gasoline strategy as compared with other national brands, mainly due to an early 1980s decision to emphasize cost cuts for cash-only policy at its fuel pumps.”
The potential class, led by 15 Plaintiffs nationwide, makes a number of extremely serious charges against BP. The franchisees are asking for class certification and are seeking damages, injunctive relief to remove the Retalix system (a point-of-sale system), and punitive damages. The Complaint charges BP with breach of contract and negligence. The franchisees are represented by Jonathan Shub, a lawyer with Seeger Weiss, and James Lee, who is with Lee, Tran & Liang, both of Los Angeles. It will be interesting to see how BP defends this lawsuit.
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