A Franklin County judge’s ruling that upholds Kentucky’s price-gouging law has given Attorney General Jack Conway a boost in his civil case against two oil companies.
Conway is seeking $89 million plus damages from Marathon Oil and Speedway Super America. He says the two companies unfairly raised their prices after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit the Gulf Coast in 2005, and having the gouging statue upheld will help his case against the oil companies and could set precedents for future price-gauging cases.
“I think it’s good to have a judge state for the record that Kentucky’s price gouging statute is constitutional. It puts companies in the region on notice that we have the authority to keep companies from gouging consumers in times of crisis,” he says. “Marathon’s own documentation shows increased profits and not much loss in capacity so we think we have a strong case,” he says. “We’re going to try the case in the courtroom, we’re not going to try it in the news media, but we’re confident we have a strong case moving forward.”
The case is set to go to trial next year. Marathon and Speedway had challenged the price gouging law as unconstitutional, but Conway says the judge’s decision confirms the law is fair.