$1.5M settlement in gas price-fixing case

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) A $1.5 million settlement has been reached in a gas price-fixing case.

This fight has been going on for years and it may affect you if you fueled up in Chittenden, Franklin or Grand Isle counties.

Four Vermont companies-- R.L. Vallee, SB Collins, Wesco and Champlain Oil-- were accused of conspiring to set higher gas prices for consumers in northwestern Vermont. In a statement to WCAX News this evening, fuel distributor Skip Vallee's lawyer says all clients maintained they never colluded to keep gas prices high.

The lawsuit was filed in 2015 calling for damages of more than $100 million. After four years of legal battles, the distributors reached a $1.5 million settlement with the plaintiffs. The court still has to approve that. When it does, the settlement administrator will reach out to each person who may be able to get money from it. Then, people will need to submit a claim form for payment.

Don't expect to get a lot. The settlement allows up to $500,000 to go toward attorneys' fees. The rest will be distributed to customers.

In a statement, Vallee called the lawsuit "outrageous" and said he adamantly denies the allegations. But he also said he wanted to end what he called a "huge and costly distraction."

None of the businesses admitted to any wrongdoing.