$17M settlement reached in lawsuit targeting Eastern Townships gas ‘cartel’

Industry Updates

A 10-year legal battle has resulted in a $17-million out-of-court settlement between a group of Eastern Township motorists and a number of gas retailers in the area.

The class-action lawsuit involving residents of Sherbrooke, Magog, Victoriaville and Thetford Mines sought damages from a so-called cartel charged with criminal price fixing by the Competition Bureau…

The bureau said the gas retailers — individual operators who ran their stations under the banners of Shell, Esso, Petro-Canada and Irving Oil — called each other to agree on prices.

The $17-million settlement, which two-thirds of the companies and retailers named in the class-action lawsuit have agreed to, could translate into a reimbursement of about $40 each for 200,000 residents after legal fees and other deductions.

“By the standards of a class action, that’s actually relatively significant on an individual level,” said George Iny, executive director of the Automobile Protection Association, the group spearheading the lawsuit. “The settlement today is a very big step forward in the action. It’s a very tough battle.” The money may be paid in gas cards, direct mailers, or money off at the pump, Iny said…

  Read the full story on the CBC website.

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