BOSTON (Legal Newsline) – Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced the resolution of claims involving falsified information by Hess Corp. last week in Boston, ordering damages payable to the Commonwealth and a private trust for alleged fallacious funding applications.
Hess and Merit Oil, which Hess acquired in 2000, purportedly failed to disclose full insurance information when applying for reimbursements from the Massachusetts Underground Storage Tank Petroleum Product Cleanup Fund (UST Fund). Hess admitted to noncompliance.
“This company refused to play by the rules designed to protect state funds from being used for expenses potentially covered by insurance,” Healey said. “We expect businesses to comply with state regulations to ensure the appropriate use of state resources in environmental cleanup costs.”
Under the terms of the ruling in Suffolk Superior Court, Hess must pay $1.9 million to the UST Fund and $2.5 million to the Commonwealth. The UST Fund strives to facilitate potentially hazardous underground leaks common to gasoline stations. The oil company’s error lay in neglecting to report whether it had applied for compensation from additional sources, including insurance policy carriers.
Similar previous cases in Massachusetts concerned the Sunoco, Chevron, and Shell Oil companies. Assistant Attorney General Alex Klibaner and staff from the Attorney General’s Insurance and Financial Services division handled the investigation, for which the original complaint was filed in April 2012.