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    Amerada Hess To Pay $2.6 million

    Jury awards current and former New Jersey franchisees in lawsuit over gasoline pricing.

    NEWARK, N.J. -- In a unanimous verdict, a New Jersey Superior Court jury awarded three plaintiffs $2.6 million in a suit against Amerada Hess Corp. for selling gasoline to franchisees at wholesale prices unsustainably high over a 12-year period, according to reports.

    "The prices that we got from the company did not allow me to make enough of a margin to cover my expenses and to make a profit," said Alban Wilson, one of the plaintiffs. "We were caught in a vise."

    The argument by the plaintiffs stated Amerada Hess knowingly charged exorbitant wholesale prices between 1990 and 2002 as part of a strategy to get rid of franchisees in favor of company-owned retail stations.

    Currently, the verdict still needs to be approved by the trial judge, which could take several weeks, as the attorneys for the plaintiffs seek interest payments at least $1 million on top of the amount awarded by the jury.

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