The industry enjoyed a win in its defense of a case involving the addition of costly temperature compensation devices at the gas pump.
This was a case where the plaintiffs attempted to the case that a Kansas jury found in favor of three major gasoline retailers in September 2012.
Judge Kathryn Vratil ruled Chevron was in compliance with California law when they sold fuel at retail without adjusting the temperature.
The judge said: “Under the safe harbor rule, plaintiffs are in the difficult position of arguing that California law does not authorize the manner in which Chevron sells motor fuel in California, which is the same way every motor fuel retailer has sold motor fuel throughout the United States for more than a century”.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs indicated that they would seek a trial somewhere where the climate is generally hotter than Kansas; an area were fuel purchasers were buying fuel that was hotter than the federal standard.
It is likely that this judge will rule the same on hot fuels cases involving other defendants.
California, like most other states, defines the liquid “gallon” as 231 cubic inches. The temperature issue is not addressed.
This is another positive step forward for retail gasoline dealers in its quest to defend against this “solution looking for a problem”.