Costco, Others Disputing ‘Hot Gas’ Deals at 10th Cir.

Bloomnberg BNA discusses CEI’s Center for Class Action Fairness’s objection to a settlement over the temperature of gasoline. 

The U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas approved the settlements in August 2015. In August 2016, the court approved $18.9 million in attorneys’ fee awards for those settlements and an earlier deal with Costco Wholesale Corp., but not before the settlements were appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

A group of 13 gas retailers, the Competitive Enterprise Institute Center for Class Action Fairness and Costco appealed.

CCAF argues in its brief that the settlement enriches class counsel at the expense of class members who receive no compensation under the deal. The attorneys get millions and the class gets, at best, “informational benefits,” it says.

The settlements attempt to impose policies on state regulators to implement ATC, but this is properly done through legislation, CCAF says. “The judiciary should not legislate,” it says, citing separation of powers concerns.

The gas station objectors echo several of CCAF’s concerns in their brief. The brief is signed by retailers who were formerly defendants that prevailed in bellwether trials on the issue.

They say the deals don’t actually “settle” any plausible legal claims. Lobbying to change the law for the sale of retail fuel doesn’t provide redress for class members, they say.

Read the full article at Bloomberg BNA