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Law firms pursue BP bad-gas class action

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Editor's note: This story has been updated.

One Indiana firm has filed a class-action lawsuit against BP in the wake of the company's gasoline recall in northwest Indiana. Two other law firms are pursuing a possible class-action suit.

Indianapolis firm Price Waicukauski and Riley LLC announced Friday afternoon it filed a proposed class action in the Hammond Division in the Northern District of Indiana. The suit seeks to represent all Indiana residents who purchaed the defective fuel. The plaintiff purchased defective BP gas Aug. 19. The following day, the plaintiff's car would not start, and a mechanic discovered the defecutive fuel had "significantly damaged the engine," according to a release from the firm.

Cohen & Malad LLP in Indianapolis and Theodoros & Rooth P.C. in Merrillville jointly have begun investigating the potential size and claims of a lawsuit after BP recalled gasoline blended at its facilities in Whiting.

The bad gas was sold at BP locations and other stations including Luke Oil and Thornton’s. It also was sold in locations from Milwaukee, Wis., to southwest Michigan, according to news reports.

BP said 2.1 million gallons of fuel blended between Aug. 13 and 17 contained a “higher than normal level of polymeric residue,” according to a statement from Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller, whose office has started an investigation. In a statement Thursday, BP blamed the problem on an alkylation unit at the Whiting refinery and said it had been corrected.

 “We have been told that as many as 100,000 people may have purchased the gasoline,” Cohen & Malad managing partner Irwin Levin said Friday. “We know that already at least 10,000 people complained to BP, so the numbers of the class are certainly going to be in the five figures.”

“People deserve justice and assurance that a company like BP will be held accountable for its actions,” Barry Rooth of Theodoros & Rooth said in a statement. “Thousands of people were impacted by this contaminated gas and have spent hundreds of dollars in car repairs. We are seeking full compensation for their damages.”

BP acted after hundreds of motorists complained about hard starting and unusual engine noise and shaking. Levin said the firm has consulted with experts about possible resulting engine damage.

BP has asked customers who think they might have purchased tainted gas to call its hotline, 800-333-3991, or email bpconsum@bp.com. Zoeller said consumers may file a complaint with the attorney general’s office online at www.indianaconsumer.com or by calling 800-382-5516.

For more information about PWR's suit, contact the firm at 317-633-8787. Those interested in learning more about the planned class action should call Cohen & Malad at 317-636-6481 or Theodoros & Rooth at 219-769-6393.


 

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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