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Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Class action lawsuit alleges Citgo's 303 tractor hydraulic fluid exposed equipment to risk of damage


By Carrie Bradon | Jun 17, 2019

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DES MOINES, Iowa (Legal Newsline) – An Iowa man alleges a brand of tractor hydraulic fluid is misleadingly labeled and has the potential to damage equipment.

Wayne Rupe, on behalf of himself and others similarly situated, filed a complaint on June 6 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa against Citgo Petroleum Corp. and Orscheln Farm and Home LLC, doing business as Orscheln Farm, and Home alleging breach of express and implied warranty of merchantability, fraudulent misrepresentation, unjust enrichment and negligence.

The suit states the defendants market and sell tractor hydraulic fluid as 303 fluid for use in older tractors and equipment. The plaintiff alleges 303 is obsolete and the 303 specification has not been available for 40 years. The suit states the 303 fluid was discontinued by John Deere because its essential ingredient was sperm whale oil, which was outlawed for use in the 1970s.

The plaintiff alleges the defendants "deceptively and illegally" trade on the 303 designation but there is no known designation for 303 fluid. The suit states the defendants' 303 fluid does not possess the claimed protective characteristics and/or does not meet manufacturers' specifications.

The suit also states that Missouri, North Carolina and Georgia have banned the defendants from offering 303 products in their states because of the deceptive nature of the products, the potential damages to equipment and the failure to meet any published specification.

The plaintiff alleges he purchased the Orscheln Premium 303 and Milemaster 303 for his equipment and as a result of the defendants' misrepresentation, his equipment was exposed to increased wear and damage.

The plaintiff is seeking trial by jury, actual and punitive damages, costs of the suit, attorneys’ fees and other relief deemed fit. The plaintiff is represented by Paul D. Lundberg of Lundberg Law Firm PLC in Sioux City, Iowa; Thomas V. Bender and Dirk Hubbard of Horn Aylward & Bandy LLC in Kansas City, Missouri; and William Carr and Bryan T. White of White, Graham, Buckley & Carr LLC in Independence, Missouri.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa case number 4:19-CV-00163

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U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa

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