Justia Energy, Oil & Gas Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Consumer Law
Alvarez, et al. v. Chevron Corp., et al.
Plaintiffs appealed the district court's dismissal pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) of their putative consumer class action against defendants. Plaintiffs also appealed the district court's denial of leave to amend their second amended complaint, alleging that the design of defendants' retail gasoline dispensers was fundamentally flawed due to a residual fuel occurrence: when plaintiffs purchased premium grade fuel, they received between two and three-tenths of a gallon of residual fuel from the previous transaction, and therefore were overcharged when the previous purchaser had selected mid-range or regular grade fuel. The court agreed with the district court that plaintiffs' well-pleaded factual allegations, accepted as true, did not give rise to a reasonable inference that defendants have committed any misconduct for which the court could grant relief. Accordingly, further amendment would be futile and the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying leave to amend. View "Alvarez, et al. v. Chevron Corp., et al." on Justia Law
Sheffler v. Commonwealth Edison Co.
The trial court dismissed a third amended class action complaint filed in connection with power outages during severe storms. The complaint alleged negligence, breach of contract, and violation of the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act (815 ILCS 505/1). The appellate court and Illinois Supreme Court affirmed. The electric utility's tariff precludes an award of damages; even if such claims were not barred, jurisdiction over matters relating to the utility's service and infrastructure lies with the Illinois Commerce Commission. The Consumer Fraud Act claim alleged that that the company knew or should have known that it failed to sufficiently establish policies and procedures to prevent controllable interruptions of power and to timely respond to those interruptions, in order to protect the health, safety, comfort and convenience of its customers, including those on the life support registry. The claim failed because the company is not required to prioritize those on the life support registry and does not intend that those on the registry rely on it doing so.
Posted in: Consumer Law, Energy, Oil & Gas Law, Illinois Supreme Court, Utilities Law
In re Motor Fuel Temperature Sales Practices Litigation
Appellants challenged a district courtâs discovery order that directed them to disclose what they called privileged information. To achieve this end, the Appellants filed an interlocutory appeal and a petition for writ of mandamus with the Tenth Circuit. The Appellants in this case include motor fuel retailers and the retail motor fuel trade associations to which the retailers belong. The Plaintiffs in this case are consumers and other interested parties. Collectively they filed twelve putative class action cases in seven federal district courts. The Plaintiffs alleged that the retailersâ âvolumetric pricing systemâ for retail motor fuel overcharges customers. When the temperature of the fuel rises, the fuelâs volume expands, but the actual energy content stays the same â customers pay for âmoreâ fuel but half the energy. Plaintiffs allege that the temperature fluctuations and fuel volumes are accounted for in every aspect of the Appellantsâ âvolumetric pricing systemâ except at the retail level, thus overcharging retail customers. The Tenth Circuit held that Appellants devoted a majority of their appellate brief to their contention that a First Amendment privilege should be presumed with respect to the information Plaintiffs sought to discover. However, Appellants made an âunwise strategic decisionâ by seeking a presumption when they failed to prove the information was indeed privileged. The Court dismissed Appellantsâ interlocutory appeal and denied their application for writ of mandamus.