California law firm sues over ethanol damage

LOS ANGELES – The California law firm of Kabateck Brown Kellner LLP filed a class action lawsuit this week against several major oil companies that sell ethanol-blended fuel, charging that the fuel causes serious damage to marine engines and fuel tanks, The Log Newspaper reported in a recent story on its Web site.

The law firm said its class action suit on behalf of California boaters who have experienced fuel tank or engine damage names Big West, BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Shell, Tesoro, Tower Energy, PetroDiamond and Valero, the newspaper reported.

“The price of gas is bad enough, but selling gasoline that dissolves gas tanks is a new low – even for the oil companies,” Brian Kabateck, managing partner of Kabateck Brown Kellner, who is the lead attorney on the case, told the newspaper. “The cost to the consumer is thousands of dollars in repairs.”

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court, Central District of California in Los Angeles, claims that ethanol dissolves the resin that binds fiberglass threads together, which can cause fuel tank leaks and engine damage due to dissolved resin entering fuel systems.

The suit seeks to represent a class comprising all owners of boats with fiberglass fuel tanks who have filled their tanks with ethanol-blended gasoline from a California retailer. The suit also seeks to represent everyone in California who owns a boat with a fiberglass fuel tank that had to be replaced because of damage caused by ethanol blended gasoline bought from a California retailer.

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