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 June 14, 2003
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Appeals court upholds $500 million verdict for Exxon gas dealers
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Atlanta-AP -- A federal appeals court has upheld a 500 (m) million dollar judgment against Exxon.

It will compensate ten thousand gas station owners who claimed the company had overcharged them for gas.

The case dates to 1982, when Exxon began charging dealers a processing fee on credit card sales of gasoline. The company promised to offset the charge by cutting the wholesale cost of the fuel.

Exxon did that for six months, but then stopped without informing the dealers. The dealers didn't notice until 1991, when they filed a class-action suit.

It took two trials, but a jury in Miami decided unanimously for the dealers. A federal appeals court in Atlanta has now upheld the verdict.

On average, the station owners will get 50-thousand dollars each, not counting interest. No comment yet from Texas-based Exxon Mobil, which formed four years ago when Exxon and Mobil merged.

Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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