August 10, 2022
White, Graham, Buckley & Carr L.L.C. partner Bryan White and co-counsel secured preliminary approval of a $10.8 million class action settlement that was the result of a class settlement agreement between a nationwide class of plaintiffs and Warren Oil Company and Genuine Parts Company (NAPA) for the manufacture and sale of 303 tractor hydraulic fluid (THF) that plaintiffs allege were mislabeled and caused equipment damage after using the products.
White was joined by co-counsel Tom Bender and Dirk Hubbard of Horn Aylward & Bandy, and Clayton Jones of the Clayton Jones Law Firm.
The case was filed and litigated in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri as Jesse Yoakum, et al. v. Genuine Parts Company, et al. The plaintiffs alleged that the 303 THF product made by Warren Oil and sold at NAPA and other retail outlets did not meet equipment manufacturers’ specifications or provide the performance benefits listed on the product labels, and contained inappropriate ingredients that caused damages to equipment. Additionally, the plaintiffs alleged that the defendants’ conduct in connection with the manufacture and sale of the Warren THF violated state consumer laws and constituted breaches of warranty, negligent misrepresentations, negligence and unjust enrichment.
The defendants continue to deny the allegations but worked with the plaintiffs’ counsel to reach a settlement for the benefit of purchasers and to avoid further litigation. The settlement, which was given preliminary approval in July 2022, provides purchase price refunds and equipment damage and repair money to the purchasers who make valid claims during the settlement administration process. Class members are those who purchased the following products from July 26, 2014, to present: NAPA Quality Tractor Hydraulic & Transmission Fluid, Warren 303 Tractor Fluid, Carquest 303 Tractor Hydraulic Fluid, Coastal 303 Tractor Fluid, and/or Lubriguard Tractor Hydraulic and Transmission Oil.
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, an $8.5 million class settlement against O’Reilly Auto Parts, and a $7.2 million settlement against Tractor Supply Co. and other retailers.
WGBC’s ongoing 303 litigation 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 that 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.