October 26, 2020
On October 13, Chief District Judge Beth Phillips of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri approved an almost $19 million class action settlement against CITGO and Orscheln Farm and Home in a lawsuit alleging the manufacturers misleadingly labeled and deceptively marketed and sold 303 tractor hydraulic fluid (THF).
White, Graham, Buckley & Carr partner Bryan White served as lead counsel along with Tom Bender and Dirk Hubbard of Horn Aylward & Bandy, and attorney Clayton Jones of Raymore, Missouri. Firm partners Bill Carr and Gene Graham also worked as co-counsel on the case.
The team initially filed suit on behalf of dozens of Missouri consumers after investigations revealed that the defendants had misleadingly labeled the THF, which then exposed purchasers’ equipment to increased wear and damage when the product was purchased and used in tractors and other hydraulic equipment. The case was later expanded and brought on behalf of all purchasers nationwide.
The case, which secured an $18.25 million class settlement fund and provided substantial payments to over 30,000 class members nationwide, was recently featured in Missouri Lawyers Media. In the article, White is quoted saying, “This settlement fund provides farmers and other purchasers of this hydraulic fluid significant help during these difficult times. We were very happy to be able to help hardworking farmers across the country and we appreciate the work and help of CITGO and Orscheln in providing this recovery to the class.”
The suit included four different products sold in a variety of sizes – MileMaster 303 Tractor Hydraulic Fluid, H-K 303 Tractor Transmission Hydraulic Fluid, Premium 303 Tractor Hydraulic & Transmission Fluid and SuperTech 303 Tractor Hydraulic Oil – which were sold at retailers, including Farm & Fleet, Orscheln Farm and Home, and Walmart.
The settlement fund allowed class members to claim reimbursements of up to 100% of the purchase price of the fluid, as well as reimbursement for any repairs and specific equipment damage resulting from the use of the misleadingly labeled THF.