Last Wednesday the California Court of Appeal released their decision on a “hot oil” class action. Gasoline expands when heated, so a gallon of gas pumped in a warmer state like California generally contains less fuel than a gallon pumped somewhere cooler, like New York. Class action suits have popped up in many states over the issue. The California suit includes “claims for violation of the Unfair Competition Law (Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17200) (UCL or section 17200), violation of the Consumers Legal Remedies Act (Civ. Code, § 1750 et. seq.) (CLRA), breach of contract and unjust enrichment.”
The California Energy Commission has been investigating the possibility of adding temperature compensation technology to gas pumps, so the trial court dismissed the claim under the abstention doctrine, claiming that the State had handled the situation. But the appellate reversed, finding that the claim still had merit. The appellate court also added back several claims under California law that had been dismissed by the trial court.
Klein V. Chevron U.S.A., Inc. (Cal. Ct. App. 2012)
Klein v. Chevron (California Appellate Report) – an excellent report on some of the more interesting issues in this claim.
Oil Companies Can’t Dodge ‘Hot Fuel’ Claims in Kansas, California (AmLaw Litigation Daily) (requires subscription – article also available on Lexis).