Preliminary Approval of Class-Action Settlement Entered in Tractor Supply Company SuperTrac 303 Tractor Hydraulic Fluid Case

White, Graham, Buckley & Carr L.L.C. partners Bryan White and Bill Carr, along with co-counsel Tom Bender and Dirk Hubbard of Horn, Aylward & Bandy, LLC and Clayton Jones of the Clayton Jones Law Firm, recently reached a settlement with the Defendants in a class-action lawsuit against Tractor Supply Company and Smitty’s Supply Inc., arising from the Defendants’ manufacturing and sale of Super S Supertrac “303” tractor hydraulic fluid.

WGB&C and their co-counsel initially filed suit on behalf of their clients and other purchasers in the state of Missouri after investigations revealed what Plaintiffs alleged was misleading product labeling for the tractor hydraulic fluid (THF), which allegedly exposed purchasers’ equipment to increased wear and damage when the product was purchased and used in tractors and other hydraulic equipment. The Super S SuperTrac 303 THF was manufactured by Smitty’s Supply, Inc. and was advertised to assist with anti-wear properties, brake chatter, extreme pressure properties, foam suppression, PTO clutch performance, rust protection and water sensitivity.

The Plaintiffs alleged the tractor hydraulic fluid 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 Despite the fact the 303 designation is obsolete and that there is no known 303 specification against which Defendants’ fluid could be measured, Defendants produced and sold their tractor hydraulic fluid as “Super S SuperTrac 303” in Tractor Supply Company retail stores and other locations in the State of Missouri.

On July 29, the involved parties filed a joint motion for preliminary approval of proposed class-action settlement. The settlement agreement will provide substantial relief to almost 10,000 members of the proposed settlement class comprising persons who have purchased Super S SuperTrac 303 Tractor Hydraulic Fluid in the state of Missouri between May 25, 2013, and the present. On August 19, 2019, the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri entered its order for preliminary approval of the settlement.