ExxonMobil Wins Dismissal of Suit Over DC Gas Prices

05.07.14

Orrick secured a dismissal on behalf of ExxonMobil Corp. in a suit brought by D.C.’s Office of the Attorney General.  The suit was brought against Exxon and its D.C. distributors under the District’s gasoline marketing statute (the Retail Service Station Act), and sought injunctive relief that would have enjoined the enforcement of Exxon’s service agreements with its distributors in Washington, D.C.  The Attorney General alleged that the current agreements denied independent retailers the benefit of competition and caused higher gasoline prices for D.C. consumers.

Following extensive briefing and a lengthy oral argument, the Court held that the Attorney General had neither express nor implied statutory authority to sue under the Act, and agreed that the Attorney General failed to establish a specific and generalized harm to the D.C. economy sufficient for standing under the parens patriae doctrine.

The team was led by Christina Guerola Sarchio and included David Smutny and Ross Paolino.