Bryan White Appointed Co-Lead Counsel in 303 Tractor Hydraulic Fluid MDL

White, Graham, Buckley & Carr LLC partner Bryan White has been appointed as co-lead counsel for a nationwide group of plaintiff consumers in multidistrict litigation (MDL) against lubricant suppliers and farm supply stores for the manufacturing and sale of so-called 303 tractor hydraulic fluid (THF).

Class-action cases were originally filed in several states against defendants CAM2 International, Rural King, Smitty’s Supply, Inc. and Tractor Supply Company, asserting various claims for relief on behalf of consumers in those states. The consolidated class-action MDL now covers purchasers’ claims nationwide.

Investigations revealed the defendants had misleadingly labeled the Super S SuperTrac 303, Super S 303, Cam2 Promax 303 and Cam2 303 THF and that the THF exposed purchasers’ equipment to increased wear and damage when the product was purchased and used in tractors and other hydraulic equipment.

The plaintiffs allege the THF was mislabeled as to the benefits the fluid provided and mislabeled as “303” THF, an obsolete designation discontinued in the 1970s after the use of sperm whale oil – a main ingredient in the original 303 formulation – was outlawed. Despite the fact the 303 designation is obsolete and that there is no known 303 specification against which the defendants’ fluid could be measured, the defendants sold tractor hydraulic fluid as “303 THF” in retail stores throughout the United States.

The cases are currently consolidated for pre-trial proceedings in the United States District Court, Western District of Missouri before Hon. Stephen Bough, In re: Smitty’s/Cam2 303 Tractor Hydraulic Fluid Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation (case no. 4:20-md-02936-SRB).

This litigation follows similar 303 THF cases in which White and partners Bill Carr and Gene Graham secured class-action settlements for their clients, including a $1.7 million settlement against Smitty’s Supply, Inc. and Tractor Supply Co. in Missouri and a nearly $19 million nationwide settlement against Citgo Petroleum Corp.