INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — BP has agreed to a $7 million
settlement to resolve lawsuits filed last year after the oil giant
recalled about 4.7 million gallons of tainted gasoline in four
Several law firms had sued BP Products North America Inc. on behalf of
thousands of consumers who bought the incorrectly formulated gas in
August 2012 in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and Wisconsin. Some vehicles
experienced hard starting, stalling and mechanical-component damage.
BP said Monday it has agreed to "compensate consumers with legitimate
claims" up to a total of $5 million under a settlement agreement filed
in June. The company also has agreed not to oppose a request for
attorney fees of up to $2 million under the proposed settlement.
A federal judge in Chicago will hold a hearing later this month to
consider giving preliminary approval to the settlement and granting it
"The decision to settle this litigation is a reflection of BP's
commitment to provide consistent, dependable, high-quality gasoline to
its consumers, as demonstrated by its fuels guarantee, and to avoid
protracted litigation," BP said in a statement.
To date, BP has resolved and paid more than 16,800 consumer claims
totaling about $16 million involving the tainted gasoline that was
processed at the company's Whiting refinery.
As part of the proposed agreement, BP said it "will publish notices in
the media and on a settlement website" explaining which consumers are
entitled to compensation under the settlement and how they can submit a
Two Indianapolis law firms involved in the suit said the tainted
gasoline was distributed to more than 575 retail outlets in Indiana,
Illinois, Wisconsin, and Ohio. In a statement, the firms said BP had
identified a "process upset" as the source of the misformulated gasoline
and that "higher than normal levels of a hydrocarbon polymer passed
through the refinery unit" in Whiting, tainting the gas.
Attorney Irwin Levin of Cohen & Malad, LLP, said in the statement that
BP has agreed "to fully and fairly compensate consumers who bought their