MIAMI, June 24 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network — The Supreme Court of the United States, in an opinion authored by Justice Kennedy, affirmed the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision in the Exxon dealer “Discount for Cash” class action,
Allapattah Servs. Inc. et al. v. Exxon, Case No. 04-70. The Court found that
even those class members with claims ordinarily too small to be independently
brought in the federal court may participate in the jury’s verdict against
Exxon. With prejudgment interest, the verdict currently exceeds $1.3 billion.
The Supreme Court’s decision falls on the heels of the district court’s order
sanctioning Exxon for its attempts to frustrate the claims process established
by the court to pay class members entitled to participate in the verdict.
The case involves current or former direct-served gas station dealers who
owned or operated an Exxon service station between March 1, 1983 and August
28, 1994, and had one or more Sales Agreements with Exxon. The law firm of
Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson, P.A. represents the
At a February 2001 trial in Miami federal court, attorneys for the class
proved to a jury that Exxon Corporation overcharged its service station owners
for the wholesale price of motor fuel for 11 years and then fraudulently
concealed the overcharges. The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals later
affirmed the verdict and orders of the trial court. Exxon appealed to the
Supreme Court, which accepted review only on the limited question of whether
the trial court had jurisdiction over individual class member claims worth
less than $50,000 at the time the case was filed in 1991.
“We are obviously pleased with the decision announced today by the Supreme
Court,” said Miami attorney Eugene Stearns of Stearns Weaver Miller, who
represented the Class at trial and on appeal. “The manner in which Exxon dealt
with its dealers was simply outrageous, and we will be doing everything
humanly possible to bring the claims process to conclusion at the earliest
Almost 11,000 claims were filed before the December 1, 2005 claims
deadline. The district court has appointed former United States District
Court Judge Tom Scott as Special Master to administer the claims process.
People who are interested in learning more about this case are encouraged
to call Garden City Group, the court-appointed Claims Administrator, at
888-769-7759 or go to http://www.exxondealerclassaction.com . Class counsel
can be reached at http://www.exxondealerattorneys.com or 800-810-3590.
Web Site: http://www.exxondealerclassaction.com