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California Shell Dealers Score Crucial Victory

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California Shell Dealers Score Crucial Victory

LOS ANGELES — It’s been a long time since running a gas station has been reasonably lucrative for independent franchise dealers like Al Buczkowski, who runs a Shell convenience store in Oak View, Calif.

But a $71 million dollar jury award against Shell last week in Los Angeles Superior Court has given Buczkowski and other Southern California dealers hope they eventually will get a break, according to the Ventura County Star.

The 12 dealers in the Valu Gas vs. Equilon Enterprises lawsuit, which includes Buczkowski, two other Ventura County dealers and a former area station owner, will share $5.5 million in direct damages and $66 million in punitive damages. Shell said it plans to appeal the verdict.

A jury found that in the late 1990s Equilon Enterprises intentionally misled franchise dealers.
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