FRANKFORT, Ky. — Marathon Petroleum Corp. (MPC) and Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear have settled a 2007 lawsuit against Marathon Petroleum and its Speedway LLC over alleged gasoline price gouging in the wake of Hurricane Katrina for $22.5 million.
The settlement resolves claims that MPC and Speedway violated the state’s Consumer Protection Act by engaging in price gouging in the wholesale and retail sale of gasoline during a period of emergency in Kentucky following Katrina in 2005, and that MPC engaged in wholesale price gouging following a 2011 flood event.
MPC said it “welcomes” the resolution of the longstanding litigation.
“Marathon Petroleum and Speedway dispute the allegations made against them by the attorney general's office and expressly deny any liability, wrongdoing or violation of the law,” MPC said in a press release. “With this resolution, and the attorney general's acknowledgment of no admission of liability or wrongdoing, we welcome putting our differences behind us.”
A trial in the case had been set to begin Aug. 19.
Half of the agreed payment is due within 20 days of the settlement becoming effective, with the remainder paid annually in two equal installments. Beshear, with the agreement of MPC and Speedway, will recommend that the Kentucky General Assembly appropriate the proceeds of the settlement, after fees and costs, for improving rural roads, navigable waterways and emergency management to mitigate the effect of weather events.
A separate lawsuit, filed in federal court in 2015, alleges MPC violated antitrust laws. That case is still pending.
MPC is an integrated downstream energy company based in Findlay, Ohio. It operates 16 refineries, and its marketing system includes approximately 7,800 branded locations across the United States, including approximately 5,600 Marathon brand retail outlets. Speedway LLC, an MPC subsidiary based in Enon, Ohio, owns and operates more than 4,000 U.S. convenience stores. MPC also owns the general partner and majority limited partner interest in midstream marketing company MPLX LP.