BOSTON (Legal Newsline) - Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley announced a temporary restraining order on Thursday against an Oxford oil company that allegedly left families in the cold during the holiday season.
Coakely's office filed a complaint on Monday in Worcester Superior Court, alleging that Kalami Fuels Inc., doing business as Action Oil & Septic, and George Papageorge, the company's owner, violated Massachusetts' consumer protection laws. The defendants allegedly enticed customers to enter prepaid unfair contracts for home heating oil and failed to deliver continuously.
"This is more than just allegedly failing to fulfill a contract that clearly took advantage of consumers, this is about an irresponsible company that put the safety of families at risk during the coldest months of the year," Coakley said. "We will aggressively pursue every option available to us to make sure consumers receive restitution in some form."
Action allegedly only delivered occasionally and, upon delivering, only provided enough oil for a week or two at most. The company allegedly said that it was delivering small amounts to everyone so that it could supply all of its customers. Meanwhile, Action allegedly continued to make full and prompt deliveries to customers who paid in cash.
The contracts Action issued allegedly contained several unfair terms, including an exclusivity clause forcing customers to not purchase oil from any other provider during the term of the contract.
The court issued a temporary restraining order to freeze all of Action Oil's financial assets. Coakley's office is seeking over $75,000 in civil penalties and $37,000 in restitution to victims.