The Lowdown on the Valero Gas Prices Class Action Lawsuit
Valero Marketing and Supply Co. were sued for alleged false advertising of their fuel prices.
Consumers allege that the company has advertised that consumers paying in “cash” will have a discounted gas price. However, the company failed to make it clear that debit card purchases were not considered as “cash” and are therefore not eligible for the discount.
The lawsuit contends that debit cards are often used as a “safer cash-equivalent.” Americans who use them often fall under the low-income category and are “lured into Valero-branded gas stations” that offer lower gas prices for cash purchases.
The lawsuit alleges that “based on their reasonable and accurate belief that a debit card is the equivalent of cash, reasonable consumers, including Plaintiff and the members of the Class, believe that they will be charged the cash price on gasoline purchased with a debit card.”
The lawsuit further asserts that the “credit” price results in a surcharge on debit card transactions “that is substantially more than the amount allowed by federal law.”
Valero is accused of breach of contract and violating California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act, False Advertising Law, and Unfair Competition Law.
Read more about the case under: Faith Bautista, et al. v. Valero Marketing and Supply Co., Case No. 3:15-cv-05557-RS, N.D. CA.
Are you affected by the Valero Gas Prices lawsuit and think that you are entitled to a settlement? Feel free to contact us today for help.
The Settlement Details
Valero does not admit any wrongdoing and claims that none of the proposed class members were entitled to relief. However, the company agreed to a settlement to avoid “uncertainties, risks, expenses, and business disruptions” that could result from continuing litigation.
The lawsuit seeks to certify a class that includes individuals who, between December 3, 2011, and the date of the preliminary approval date of the settlement “purchased gasoline using a debit card at a Valero-branded station in California that advertised a ‘cash’ price and ‘credit’ price on Relevant Valero-Branded Signage but the Relevant Valero-Branded Signage did not affirmatively disclose how gasoline purchased with a debit card was priced and were charged more money per gallon than the advertised ‘cash’ price.”
The settlement includes an injunctive relief permanently ceasing Valero from advertising gas prices in California that will include “cash” and “credit” but not “debit.” Valero-branded stations will also be required to indicate how debit cards will be charged.
These changes must be incorporated into Valero’s Wholesale Branding Manual.
The settlement agreement also recognizes that Valero “does not own, operate, or manage the Valero-branded stations” and therefore cannot “meaningfully control the branded stations’ pricing and/or use of their signage and the point of sale systems.” Consequently, Valero cannot be held liable for the violation of the permanent injunction if a Valero-branded station advertises “cash” and “credit” prices, but not “debit” prices.
The agreement looks towards the Court to approve the settlement with the amount of $1.65 Million in fees and expenses to the Class Counsel.
If you’re affected by the Valero Gas Prices lawsuit settlement, we’d love to hear from you.
Editor’s note on the Valero Gas Class Action Settlement:
This piece is written about the recent Valero Gas Prices Class Action Settlement. If you are considered eligible to be among the class of consumers described in the class action lawsuit settlement, you may eventually be able to participate in receiving any compensation the court may award.
If you believe that what is alleged in the Valero Gas Prices class action settlement has affected you, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
We’d be happy to help you take a step in the right direction, fight this issue, and better enable you to join in on any potential consumer class action. If interested, please send an email to Outreach@ConsiderTheConsumer.com, find us on Twitter or Facebook, or even connect with us directly on our website! We look forward to hearing from you all.
Similarly, please check out our current list of Class Actions and Class Action Investigations, here.
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