Jan 24, 2009

Ethanol Lawsuit Proceeds

FROM csnews -  Suit claims that companies at fault for not warning boat owners that gas can damage engines, fuel tanks
A Florida lawsuit against six oil companies that alleges negligence for failing to warn boat owners of potential harm from ethanol-blended gasoline, survived a motion to dismiss from the defendants, NaplesNews.com reported.
The next step is pursuing certification to become a class-action lawsuit, said plaintiff attorney Jeffrey Ostrow in Fort Lauderdale.
The intent is to represent all Florida boat owners who have used ethanol-blended fuel and those whose boats have been damaged by ethanol added in fuel, Ostrow said. He filed the lawsuit in August 2008 says the oil companies have been negligent by not providing warnings to boat owners that ethanol additive can corrode fiberglass fuel tanks and require the tanks to be replaced, and secondly, that phased separation of ethanol from gasoline can cause engine damage.
The goal with a class-action lawsuit is reimbursement to boat owners for repairs and to require a warning label on fuel pumps alerting boaters not to use ethanol-blended gasoline or consult with a boat mechanic, Ostrow said.
U.S. District Court Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga issued an order Tuesday allowing the complaint to move forward on one count of negligence that the oil manufacturers have failed to warn boat owners of the potential harm of ethanol-blended gasoline. During earlier proceedings, the plaintiff’s attorney agreed to drop two other counts that the oil companies intentionally concealed potential harm of ethanol in gasoline and that such violated Florida’s deceptive and unfair trade law.
At issue is a state law adopted in spring 2008 that all gasoline sold in the state contain 10 percent ethanol, called E10, by the end of 2010 as part of conservation measures. Two exemptions were included allowing ethanol-free gas to be sold for airplanes and boats. About a half dozen other states require ethanol additives in gasoline.
For once I'm actually on the side of the oil companies. Gov. insisted requiring ethanol in all the gas, and thats what we got. I think its completely stupid and uncalled for to expect refiners and suppliers to have to double their storage and shipping capacity in order to keep ethanol and exempt gas separate. Complete waste of resources... read full here