Franchisees of BP, ARCO, and am/pm file class action lawsuit.
The law firms of SeegerWeiss LLP and Lee Tran & Liang, APLC have jointly filed a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on behalf of owners of BP and ARCO gas station franchises and am/pm convenience store franchises.
The defendants are BP West Coast Products LLC and BP Products North America, Inc., both subsidiaries of BP p.l.c. and Retalix LTD.
The complaint charges that by virtue of their common policy and practice, the BP Defendants breached their obligations to Plaintiffs in connection with various aspects of franchise, gas supply and other uniform agreements, as well as improprieties in connection with third party vendor supplier agreements—all of which have resulted in substantial monetary harm to each franchisee.
The alleged wrongful and illegal conduct noted in the class action complaint includes:
• BP Defendants required all franchisees to install a new centralized point-of-sale (“POS”) computer system developed by co-defendant Retalix LTD that is defective, which in turn, resulted in substantial damages to the franchisees, such as lost operation time, lost revenue, lost or inaccurate inventory, lost receivables and cash, and increased operating costs and burdens;
•BP’s manipulation of gas supply and pricing which serve to disadvantage Plaintiffs;
•BP’s direct control of and/or pricing by third-party vendors which results in unreasonable increased costs to franchisees;
• BP’s policy of forcing sale of items and collection of fees, for which Plaintiffs receive no compensation;
• BP’s unreasonable and untimely approvals and or denials to buy or sell franchise locations and unreasonable restrictions placed on lenders, which lowers market value of the franchises;
• BP’s failures to properly spend all collected amounts for advertising and promotion.
The case is entitled Green Desert Oil Group Inc. et al. v. BP West Coast Products LLC et al. (NDCA case number CV-11-2087). The case has been assigned to Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero.
There are over 1600 franchised BP and ARCO gas stations and am/pm stores across the country, all of which are part of the proposed class for this lawsuit. The Service Station Franchise Association Inc. (SSFA), which represents a large number of the franchisees, has been instrumental in assisting its members, and all BP, ARCO and am/pm franchisees throughout the U.S., in their quest to bring the defendants to justice via this class action.