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    BP Agrees to $7M Settlement Over Tainted Gas

    Incorrectly formulated fuel was distributed to four Midwest states last year.

    INDIANAPOLIS -- BP plc agreed to pay $7 million to settle lawsuits following its August recall of approximately 4.7 million gallons of tainted gasoline.

    Several law firms sued BP's division, BP Products North America Inc., on behalf of consumers who purchased the incorrectly formulated gas, which was allegedly distributed to more than 575 retail outlets in Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and Ohio.

    As CSNews Online previously reported, the batches of regular grade gasoline were blended at BP's Whiting, Ind., and Milwaukee gasoline storage terminals from Aug. 13 to Aug. 17.

    Under the terms of the Indianapolis court agreement, BP will compensate consumers up to a total of $5 million. The company also agreed to pay up to $2 million in opposing counsel attorney fees.

    According to the Associated Press, a federal judge in Chicago will hold a hearing later this month to consider preliminary approval of the settlement and granting it class-action status.

    "The decision to settle this litigation is a reflection of BP's commitment to provide consistent, dependable, high-quality gasoline to its consumers, as demonstrated by its fuels guarantee, and to avoid protracted litigation," BP said in a statement.

    In addition, BP agreed to publish notices in the media and on a settlement website explaining which consumers are entitled to compensation under the settlement and how to submit a claim.

    To date, BP has paid more than 16,800 consumer claims totaling approximately $16 million related to the tainted gasoline, the AP reported.

    London-based BP plc franchises and licenses more than 4,500 convenience stores and gas stations in the United States.

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