FRANKFORT, KY (October 3, 2007) -- A Federal court today ruled that Attorney General Greg Stumbo's $89 million lawsuit against Marathon Oil and Speedway SuperAmerica can proceed in state court.
The Order, issued by Judge Karen Caldwell, rejected Marathon's efforts to remove the landmark case to Federal court. The Order also upholds Attorney General Stumbo's authority to protect consumers, saying, "Kentucky's statutes clearly authorize him to bring this action on behalf of the state." Order, p.11.
In ruling that Kentucky's state courts should hear the case, Judge Caldwell stated that "[t] he declaration, injunction, and civil penalties will benefit all Kentucky consumers not just a particular set of consumers." Order, p.8.
Stumbo said he is pleased that the suit will now move ahead in state court. "I've said all along that this price gouging suit belongs in state court, and today the federal court has agreed," he stated. "My office will move to hold Big Oil accountable for taking advantage of Americans during a time of national crisis."
Attorney General Stumbo's suit charges that Marathon and Speedway SuperAmerica violated Kentucky's price gouging law and Consumer Protection Act during the state of emergency following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005. Kentucky is the first state in the nation to file suit protecting its citizens against price gouging by a major oil company.