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BP Franchisees Win First Step in Court

As some of you have already heard, we scored a huge victory against BP in court yesterday, when Judge Berle denied their motion for summary judgment. Judge Berle based his decision on the fact that BP had failed to bring a motion that would dispose of the entire gasoline and Pay-point claims.

 The gasoline claim, which we know is critically important to all dealers, seeks monetary compensation for BP's violation of the gas contract, whereby it overcharges its own franchisees for gasoline; at the same time, BP sells gasoline to its own competitors at much cheaper prices. Also at issue in the gasoline claim, is BP’s practice of retaliating against franchisees that do not operate at BP’s desired margin. No matter how BP tries to spin this loss, it is a significant loss for them.

Now that the motion has been denied, the cases will be proceeding towards a jury trial, and Judge Berle has authorized plaintiffs to seek from BP its internal documents and information about the issues discussed above, marketing, advertising, debit card fees, as well as BP’s dealings with 3rd party vendors and the problems with the Retalix system. We will be seeking this information from BP very soon.

It is anticipated that in the future, BP will file additional motions to have the case thrown out, which we will vigorously oppose. We believe strongly in the gasoline claims and intend to place the full resources of all team of law firms to prosecute this and all other claims against BP.

For franchisees that you know who have been waiting on the sidelines to determine whether to join this lawsuit, now is the time for them to join. Further delay by them may affect the value of and their ability to recover damages.

Because we are now heading toward a jury trials, we are going to be contacting you very soon to obtain critical information regarding your various claims.

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About Ali Mazarei

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Southern California-based franchisee Ali Mazarei is the vice president of the Service Stations Franchisee Association, Inc, representing owner-operators who make up BP / ARCO / AMPM / Thrifty sites. There are more than 1,600+ BP ARCO AMPM Thrifty franchised sites across the country. Based on taxable sales revenue generated at a average BP ARCO AMPM store,  the taxable sales generated from two stations are comparable to one Wal-Mart Store. More than 700 SSFA members live and own/operate service stations in California. Our members employ more than 50,000 workers and generate over $ 17.5 billion taxable sales dollars annually in our local community.

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Franchise Operations