June 4, 2021
On May 28, Judge David Gregory Kays of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri approved an $8.5 million class-action settlement against O’Reilly Auto Parts and two associated companies 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.
The team initially filed class actions in several states against the defendants – O’Reilly, Omni Specialty Packaging LLC and Ozark Automotive Distributors Inc. – in 2019 and 2020 on behalf of thousands of consumers after investigations revealed that the defendants had misleadingly labeled the THF. The cases were filed on behalf of purchasers of “O’Reilly 303 Tractor Hydraulic Fluid.” The settlement agreement consolidated the various cases into a single case in the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri, Allicks et al v. Omni Specialty Packaging, LLC et al, Case No. 4:19-cv-01038-DGK.
The plaintiffs alleged the fluid was improperly labeled and manufactured. O’Reilly and the other defendants denied and continue to deny the allegations but worked with plaintiffs’ counsel to reach a settlement for the benefit of purchasers and to avoid further litigation.
This litigation follows similar 303 THF cases in which White and WGBC secured class-action settlements for purchasers in Missouri and across the country, including securing a $19 million settlement fund in a case against CITGO and Orscheln Farm and Home and a $1.7 million Missouri settlement fund in a case against Tractor Supply Co. and Smitty’s Supply, Inc. WGBC’s ongoing 303 litigation against several manufacturers arose from THF that was 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 Despite the fact the 303 designation is obsolete and there is no known 303 specification against which such fluid could be measured, several manufacturers produced and sold their tractor hydraulic fluid as “303” THF in stores across the country.
Learn more about the firm’s work with 303 Tractor Hydraulic Fluid Class Actions.