MIAMI, Feb. 2 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Netwo…

MIAMI, Feb. 2 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network — Federal District Court Judge Alan Gold has granted preliminary approval of the settlement of a long-running dispute
between Exxon Corporation and a class of its service station dealers under
which Exxon will pay $1.075 billion and end its opposition to dealer claims in
the claims process established by the Court.

The lawsuit, filed in 1991, arose out of Exxon’s Discount for Cash program
in effect between 1983 and 1994 in which Exxon had promised its service
station dealers a discount in the wholesale price of motor fuel. After a
lengthy trial in February 2001, a jury found that Exxon had breached its
obligation to provide the discount, and had fraudulently concealed the breach.
Exxon appealed the verdict all the way to the United States Supreme Court, but
the Supreme Court denied Exxon’s last appeal in June 2005. The settlement was
achieved as a court-appointed Special Master was in the process of assessing
damages against Exxon on individual dealer claims.

Nearly 11,000 class members will be mailed a notice scheduling a hearing
date on April 5, 2006 for the Court’s consideration of final approval of the
settlement. The $1.075 billion payment represents payment in full of all
compensatory damages and prejudgment interest through October 31, 2005 on all
valid claims filed by December 19, 2005. After the settlement payment is made
to a court-appointed financial institution, the claims process before the
Special Master will continue without Exxon’s further involvement, which is
anticipated to accelerate the approval and payment of individual dealer

“This is an extraordinary achievement for the dealers,” said Miami
attorney Eugene Stearns of Stearns Weaver Miller, who represented the Class at
trial and on appeal. “After 14 years of litigation, Exxon has exhausted its
appeals and has finally realized that its continued opposition in the claims
process is fruitless. This will allow acceleration of the process to put the
money in the hands of the dealers. While many class actions result in little
real benefit to class members, in this case we have basically achieved near
one hundred percent recovery of every dealer’s damages, and because of our
efforts to locate everyone, almost all the dealers entitled to payment will
share in the recovery.”

Additional information about this case is available at the web-sites of
the court-appointed Claims Administrator, the Garden City Group, and Class counsel, .

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