$1.5 million settlement in gas price-fixing lawsuit

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — A $1.5 million settlement has been reached in a class-action lawsuit that alleged that motorists overpaid for gas in northwestern Vermont over a decade.

The lawsuit filed in 2015 accused R.L. Vallee, S.B. Collins, Wesco and Champlain Oil of conspiring to set higher gas prices for consumers. A lawyer for fuel distributor Skip Vallee said in a statement that all clients maintained that they never colluded to keep gas prices high. Vallee, who owns Maplefields gas and convenience stores, said in a statement that he adamantly denies the allegations. He said he wanted to end a “huge and costly distraction.”

The settlement must be approved by the court. About $500,000 of it may go to attorneys’ fees.

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