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Shell Canada Settles Suit Involving Quebec Drivers –CP

The Wall Street Journal: Shell Canada Settles Suit Involving Quebec Drivers –CP

“Shell Canada could pay up to $100 million to about 500,000 Quebec drivers”

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

Posted 22 July 04

MONTREAL — Shell Canada (SHC.T) could pay up to $100 million to about 500,000 Quebec drivers after the company and lawyers for the motorists reached an out-of-court settlement, Le Journal de Montreal reported Wednesday the Canadian Press said.

A class-action lawsuit filed last July said Shell Canada put an additive in its Bronze gas between March 2001 and March 2002 that left a residue in gas tanks and caused problems for starting vehicles and determining the exact amount of gas in a tank.

“It’s an extraordinary settlement,” lawyer Gordon Kugler, who worked on the case, said Tuesday.

“It’s very rare to arrive at an agreement that involves 500,000 people.”

The settlement was reached on July 12 and was approved by Justice Benoit Emery of Quebec Superior Court.

The average amount to be awarded will be about $200 but will vary between $20 and about $450 for inspections, cleaning, and repairs, the newspaper said.

In January, Shell Canada announced it would compensate motorists across the country whose fuel pumps or gauges were gummed up by the gasoline additive which provoked class-action lawsuits.

The class actions were filed by plaintiffs in British Columbia and Ontario, but Shell said the settlement applied in all provinces except Quebec, where the suit proceeded separately.

Kugler said he believes Quebec drivers received a better settlement than other Canadians.

“Shell offered us the same thing at the same time but we refused because the company accepted only to pay for repairs.”

Shell has said the amount it will end up paying in claims is not known, but is not expected to have a material impact on the company. Terry Blaney, Shell ‘s marketing vice-president, has said the company moved quickly to change the additive and address customer concerns once the problem was discovered.

Corrected July 21, 2004 14:08 ET (18:08 GMT)

Shell Canada (SHC.T) could pay up to $100 million to about 500,000 Quebec drivers after the company and lawyers for the motorists reached an out-of-court settlement, Le Journal de Montreal reported Wednesday, the Canadian Press said.

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