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    The Pantry Accused of Hot Gas

    Company named as defendant in class-action lawsuits filed in seven states.

    SANFORD, N.C. -- Convenience store operator The Pantry Inc. was named as a defendant in seven class-action lawsuits, claiming it and other energy companies and gas-station operators have sold gas at hot temperatures, which is believed to reduce fuel's energy content, the North Carolina-based Triangle Business Journal reported.

    "We believe that there are substantial factual and legal defenses to the theories alleged in these lawsuits," The Pantry said in a regulatory filing earlier this week, according to the report. "As the cases are at a very early stage, we cannot at this time estimate our ultimate exposure to loss or liability, if any, related to these lawsuits."

    Approximately 45 suits have been filed nationwide in fiscal 2007, according to the company, which is a defendant in cases in Florida, Delaware, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee, the report stated.

    The lawsuits state that in hot weather, consumers receive less gas than companies implicitly agree to provide.

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