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, recently reached a settlement with the Defendants in a class action lawsuit against O’Reilly Automotive, Inc. and Omni Specialty Packaging, arising from the Defendants’ manufacturing and sale of “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 Plaintiffs alleged the tractor hydraulic fluid 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 Despite the fact the 303 designation is obsolete and that there is no known 303 specification against which Defendants’ fluid could be measured, Defendants produced and sold their tractor hydraulic fluid as “303” THF in O’Reilly Automotive stores in the State of Missouri. Defendants O’Reilly Automotive, Inc. and Omni Specialty Packaging, Inc. denied, and continue to deny, Plaintiffs’ allegations or that Defendants engaged in any improper conduct.
On March 15, the involved parties filed a joint motion for preliminary approval of proposed class action settlement. The settlement agreement will provide substantial relief to almost 20,000 members of the proposed settlement class comprised of persons who have purchased O’Reilly 303 Tractor Hydraulic Fluid in the state of Missouri between July 20, 2013 and the present, excluding those who purchased for resale. The settlement is currently filed with the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri for approval.