Florida boater sues oil companies over ethanol with eye to class action suit
By IBI Magazine
A Florida boat owner last week filed a lawsuit against US oil companies, alleging they sold ethanol-blended fuel to boaters while knowing it would cause damage to engines. Florida boat owner Erick Kelecseny claims that his boat engine and fuel tank were damaged by ethanol-blended gas.
His lawsuit alleges that gas companies including Chevron, Exxon Mobil and Shell, continued to sell ethanol-blended fuel to the marine industry after they knew it would cause damage to the motors. Kelecseny is seeking punitive damages and class-action status to include all Florida boat owners whose vessels were damaged by the blended gas.
The Florida lawsuit follows a second class-action lawsuit filed last April in California. "The oil companies know this fuel is harmful, but they're keeping it on the market to pump up profits," Brian Kabateck, an attorney in the California case, told IBI in April. "But it costs consumers thousands of dollars in repairs."
Kelecseny's attorney, Brian Ferguson, told the Tampa Tribune that the ethanol in the fuel Kelecseny bought disintegrated the resins in the fibreglass tank. Those resins passed through the fuel system, and fouled the engine. "We have the tank," said Ferguson. "Mechanics have taken it and could see the damage to the tank."
"We're not looking for $1,500 or $10,000 to repair the engine or the boat," said Ferguson. "We're looking for the approval of a class, so that whether people spent $100 or $30,000, they can get compensated."
(20 August 2008)
the oil companys will tie this up in court for decades.....