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Appeals court pulls judge from $28M contract case

Kansas City Business Journal – by Steve Vockrodt Staff Writer

Monday, March 30, 2009, 1:07pm CDT 

A federal appeals court pulled U.S. District Judge Dean Whipple from a $28 million contract case following Whipple’s unusual and profane comments to an attorney on the case.

On March 24, the 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals returned a case filed by Sentis Group Inc. and Coral Group Inc against Shell Oil Co., to the U.S. District Court, Western Missouri, with a new judge to be determined later.

The underlying case involved Sentis Group and Coral Group, which operated Kansas City-area Shell-branded gas stations under contract with Shell Oil. Shell was to make expense payments to the two corporations to reimburse them for certain operating costs.

The plaintiffs in the case accused Shell Oil of inducing the corporations into contracts with bogus historical expense and profit figures. The two companies sought $28 million in damages.

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