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Oil giant Exxon Mobil faces a payout of about $1.3 billion usd after being ordered by a US judge to compensate thousands of overcharged petrol station owners, the lawyer for the complainants said at the weekend.

Oil giant Exxon Mobil faces a payout of about 1.3 bln usd after being ordered by a US judge to compensate thousands of overcharged petrol station owners, the lawyer for the complainants said at the weekend.

The judge in Miami, Alan Gold, ordered Exxon Wednesday to pay damages of 1.3 cents a gallon on gasoline that the dealers bought from the company over 1983-1994, attorney Mark Dikeman said.

Exxon was found guilty in the case in 2001 but has refused to make any payments while it appeals the case. The company said Wednesday it would also appeal Gold’s ruling, Dikeman said.

‘We want Exxon to pay the money that the courts say they have to pay, to stop playing with people’s money and with their lives,’ Dikeman said.

About 10,000 Exxon station dealers from across the United States sued the company in 1991 alleging it had been systematically ripping them off.

From 1982, Exxon started charging its dealers a 3 pct credit card processing fee but promised to offset the charge with a reduction in the wholesale price they paid for gasoline.

But Exxon never paid the offsetting reduction, Dikeman said.

He said the Miami judge had ordered Exxon to pay back the reduction, which would amount in total to more than 500 mln usd, plus interest at an internal company rate of 23.8 pct.

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