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In re Motor Fuel Temperature Sales Practices Litigation

Case Summary: 07-md-1840

On June 22, 2007, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation issued a transfer order centralizing twelve putative class actions for coordinated pretrial proceedings in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas before the Honorable Kathryn H. Vratil.  Subsequently, an additional 39 cases were filed and transferred to the MDL proceedings. 

On October 18, 2007, plaintiffs filed a consolidated amended complaint against all defendants.  Plaintiffs alleged that all defendants sold motor fuel at temperatures greater than 60 degrees Fahrenheit, which resulted in customers receiving less energy per gallon of fuel than if they bought the same fuel at a lower temperature.  As such, plaintiffs asserted class claims for unjust enrichment, breach of contract, breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing, breach of express and implied warranties, conversion, fraudulent misrepresentation, negligent misrepresentation, civil conspiracy, fraudulent concealment, and violations of various state consumer protection and deceptive trade practices acts.  Defendants denied liability and asserted jurisdictional challenges to plaintiffs’ claims. 

On August 13, 2009, the court entered an order granting conditional class certification and preliminary approval of a proposed settlement between plaintiffs and Costco Wholesale Corporation, a defendant in 19 of the multidistrict litigation cases.  After holding a fairness hearing on April 1, 2010, the court denied final approval on the basis that the named representative were not adequate representatives of the proposed settlement class. 

On February 4, 2011, plaintiffs filed a renewed motion for final approval of a restructured class settlement.  On September 22, 2011, the court conditionally certified the proposed amended settlement subclasses, preliminarily approved the proposed amended settlement, and directed revised notice to class members.  The court held a final approval hearing on March 22, 2012.  On April 24, 2012, the court granted final approval of the amended settlement. 

Case Highlights

  • JPML Transfer order filed 6/22/07 [Doc #1]
  • Consolidated Amended Complaint filed 10/08/07 [Doc # 186]
  • Memorandum and Order overruling Joint Motion to Dismiss [Doc # 196] filed 2/21/08 [Doc #283-#284]
  • Joint Answer filed 4/21/08 [Doc # 418]
  • Second Consolidated Amended Complaint filed 12/1/08 [Doc # 652]
  • Joint Answer to SCAC filed 1/12/09 [Doc #703]
  • Motion for Approval of Class Action Settlement with Costco filed 4/1/10 [Doc #1620]
  • Fairness Hearing on 4/1/10
  • Order identifying problem with settlement filed 8/13/10 [Doc #1707]
  • Renewed motion filed 2/4/11 [Doc #1769]
  • Order indicating preliminary approval filed 4/5/11 [Doc # 1841]
  • Fairness Hearing on 3/22/12 [Doc # 3999]

Case-related documents, including those referenced above, are available via the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) service. For more information, visit