By Bill O’Boyle - [email protected]

Lawsuit targets ‘misrepresentation’ of gas prices

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    WILKES-BARRE — A lawsuit recently filed in Luzerne County alleges state law was violated because some retail gas stations didn’t clearly show that lower advertised prices excluded purchases made with debit cards.

    Attorney Michael J. Cefalo and Associates, West Pittston, and the Anapol Weiss Law Firm in Philadelphia, filed the class action lawsuit on behalf of Steve Pesta, 209 Zbick Road, Shavertown — individually and on behalf of all others — against Valley Mart #5-Citgo, 93 Allen St., West Nanticoke, and CITGO Petroleum Corp., 1293 Eldridge Parkway, Houston, Texas.

    The lawsuit was filed on behalf of “all Pennsylvania residents who paid for Citgo branded gasoline with a debit card in Pennsylvania between Jan, 16, 2010, and the present, at Citgo retail gas stations that advertised a lower ‘cash’ price without differentiating the price to be charged for purchases made with debit cards.”

    The lawsuit seeks “in excess of $50,000” in Count I and “declaratory and supplemental relief” in Count II.

    The suit claims Citgo, through its signs that post the price per gallon, misrepresented the lower “cash price” because it failed to show the lower price excluded purchases made with debit cards.

    “Under the law, they have to clearly designate what the price is,” Cefalo said.

    The suit claims Pesta purchased gas on Jan. 16, 2016, and paid for it with his Visa debit card and was charged the higher credit-card price. The suit claims the way the pricing was advertised was “deceptive and confusing.”

    Contacted for comment on the filing of the lawsuit, a Citgo company official in Houston, Texas, responded.

    “I thank you for reaching out to CITGO Petroleum Corp.,” the emailed response stated. “At CITGO, we are aware of the lawsuit you mention. However, per company policy, we do not comment on pending litigation.”

    Reach Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.

    By Bill O’Boyle

    [email protected]

    Reach Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.