Attorney General Andy Beshear announced Wednesday a 12-year-old lawsuit against Marathon Petroleum Company (MPC) and Speedway LLC over alleged gasoline price gouging has been settled for $22.5 million.
The settlement resolves claims that Ohio-based MPC and Speedway violated Kentucky’s Consumer Protection Act by engaging in price gouging in the wholesale and retail sale of gasoline in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and that MPC engaged in wholesale price gouging following a 2011 flood event, according to a release from his office.
“This settlement was 12 years in the making and I am proud to finally see its conclusion,” said Beshear. “Since taking office, I have worked to protect Kentuckians and I am pleased by the resolution in this matter.”
Half of the agreed payment is due within 20 days of the settlement becoming effective with the remainder paid annually in two equal installments. Beshear, with the agreement of MPC and Speedway, will recommend that the General Assembly appropriate the proceeds of the settlement, after fees and costs, for improving rural roads, navigable waterways, and/or emergency management to mitigate the impact of weather events.
“We all know the roads, bridges and highways in our communities need to be rebuilt,” Beshear said. “It makes sense that these and any future settlement funds from alleged price gouging of gas and oil prices go directly toward funding rural infrastructure, providing much-needed money for those vital projects.”
The Office of the Attorney General, under then-Attorney General Greg Stumbo, filed the lawsuit in May 2007. Then-Attorney General Jack Conway’s office amended the complaint in 2011, the release notes.
In the settlement, MPC and Speedway make no admission of wrongdoing or liability. A trial in the case was set to begin in Franklin Circuit Court on August 19.
A separate lawsuit, filed in federal court in 2015, alleges MPC violated antitrust laws. That case is still pending.