GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — A federal lawsuit claims all drivers should get some money from the Alpharetta company that was hacked, which sent gas prices skyrocketing.
The lawsuit against Colonial Pipeline claims it’s trying to stick up for everyone who had to pay more when the Georgia company was hacked and shut down its pipeline.
It’s unclear if the North Carolina man who filed the lawsuit will get class action status, but quite a few drivers our Gwinnett County Bureau spoke with are rooting for him.
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In the lawsuit, Fayetteville, North Carolina resident Ramon Dickerson said filling up the last few days around Fayetteville cost him quite a bit more money, and it was money he shouldn’t have had to spend.
“I hope he wins!,” said driver Dora Williams as she filled up her tank on Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road Tuesday.
She feels the pain at the pump, especially the past few days as prices jumped. Colonial Pipeline shut down its operations, and fuel supplies along the eastern seaboard went down to a trickle.
“It’s terrible. They just keep going up, up, and they keep playing with us,” Williams said.
Colonial says hackers broke into its system and demanded ransom. The company shut down its pipeline as a precaution and reports say paid the criminals to get everything back to normal.
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The lawsuit was filed in Atlanta Federal court. It seeks untold damages, class action status, and a jury trial insisting Colonial “...has injured millions of consumers in the form of higher gas prices, and gasoline shortages that exist/existed , due to Colonial’s decision to effectively turn off the pipeline.”
The lawsuit also blames Colonial’s security measures. Lawyers wrote, “Data security measures were inadequate. Plaintiff and members of the class continue to suffer damages...in the form of exaggerated prices for gasoline at retail as well as gasoline outages.”
A spokesperson for Colonial responded with this statement to Channel 2 Action News: “We are aware of the lawsuit and while we cannot comment on pending litigation, Colonial Pipeline worked around the clock to safely restart our pipeline system following the cyberattack against our company.”
Lisa Harris said she doesn’t blame Colonial and doesn’t support the lawsuit. “I don’t think it’s their fault that they got hacked. There’s bad people in the world and they want to use excuses for why they do things they shouldn’t be doing. I’m glad it’s over now and hopefully they will come up with something so this won’t happen again.”
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AAA Georgia notes supplies are starting to return to normal and gas prices have dropped slightly in some places, but not all stations have fuel yet. Right now, AAA finds the average cost to fill up a 15-gallon tank is about $44. The average cost of a gallon of regular unleaded gas around Georgia is at $2.93, down 3 cents from last week.
The all-time high in Georgia was in September 2008, when gas hit $4.16 a gallon.
There is no word from the man who filed the lawsuit.
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