BP is facing five lawsuits brought by its franchisees.
The most recent is a lawsuit by 40 Thrifty Oil Co. franchise owners in Southern California, who claim BP failed to give proper notice of its intention not to renew its master lease with Thrifty Oil.
A second lawsuit filed in Chicago against BP by two franchisees is in post trial briefing with a court ruling pending. A third lawsuit exists in the northwest in Oregon on behalf of franchisees who want to terminate their franchise relationship with BP.
Two more lawsuits filed in 2011 are currently picking up steam: a class action lawsuit in the federal court of Northern California on the behalf of some 1,600 BP/Arco franchisees, and a mass action lawsuit filed in Los Angeles state court on behalf of a couple hundred BP/Arco franchisees.
Both of these lawsuits focus on three main allegations:
• Improper gas pricing.
• Failure to address a faulty point of sale (POS) system.
• Questionable pricing on products negotiated with vendors.
A hearing on the mass action lawsuit is expected at the end of April.
For more information on the allegations, see p. 18 of Convenience Store Decisions April issue.