Kentucky gas gouging lawsuit can go forward

Posted by Charles Gazaway - email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Remember how gas prices surged after hurricanes Rita and Katrina? Some of that surely had to do with supply and demand, but how much of it was price gouging? Because of a ruling Tuesday in Frankfort, we might get to find out.

The lawsuit by Kentucky's Attorney General Jack Conway against Marathon Petroleum and Speedway-SuperAmerica can go forward.

A Franklin circuit judge upheld the constitutionality of Kentucky's anti-price gouging law saying the state has a legitimate interest in protecting consumers from unjustified price spikes during a declared state of emergency. He said the statute provides adequate notice to businesses who must obey it.

The court said that Speedway-SuperAmerica stations enjoyed a significant increase in profit per gallon during the state of emergency and that Marathon reaped a record income for the fourth quarter of 2005.

The suit is seeking $89 million in damages, plus penalties. No trial date has been set.

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