Plaintiffs agree to dismiss claims in fuel case

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) - Several plaintiffs have agreed to dismiss claims against 15 companies in a longstanding lawsuit involving allegations that U.S. oil companies and gasoline retailers overcharged consumers by selling “hot” fuel that contains less energy.

Federal officials earlier consolidated about 50 lawsuits filed since 2006 from consumers across the country in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kan.

The plaintiffs claimed customers were shortchanged when buying gasoline that is over 60 degrees. The volume of gasoline expands and consumers argue they are getting less than a gallon of fuel for a full gallon price.

Several larger retailers, including Costco, Wal-Mart and its Sam’s Club outlets, Valero, earlier reached settlements in their cases. But a federal jury in Kansas City, Kan., also ruled in favor of several companies in 2012.

Plaintiffs lawyers in 22 other cases agreed last week to dismiss claims against 15 defendants, which included 7-Eleven, Circle K Stores, QuikTrip and Pilot Travel Centers.

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.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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