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Oil Co Sues Too in $89M Gas Price-Gouge Case

Posted May 11, 2007 5:17 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Yesterday Kentucky filed a milestone $89 million price-gouging lawsuit against a major oil company in state court, in what reportedly is the first such case in the nation. Today defendant Marathon Petroleum has fired back, filing suit in federal court and saying the laws on which the Kentucky case is based are unconstitutional.

The suit, filed in Franklin County by Attorney General Greg Stumbo, says skyrocketing gasoline prices after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated oil suppliers along the gulf coast in 2005 violated a Kentucky consumer law and an emergency order by the state's governor, explains AP.

But Marathon contends in the federal suit it filed today that the Kentucky law and the way it was applied are unconstitutionally vague and restrictive of interstate commerce, reports the Louisville Courier-Journal. Marathon is a wholly owned subsidary of Houston-based Marathon Corp.

The state's suit is the first in the nation filed against a major oil refiner over alleged price-gouging, according to the Appalachian News-Express.

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