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After fuel mix-up at WBR gas station, drivers struggling to get reimbursed for car repairs

11 months 2 weeks 6 days ago Wednesday, August 02 2023 Aug 2, 2023 August 02, 2023 5:50 PM August 02, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ

WEST BATON ROUGE PARISH - Last Tuesday, pumps were shut down at a Circle K in Port Allen due to a mix-up between diesel and unleaded gasoline. More than a week later, customers who were affected still haven't gotten any answers. 

Gas was delivered to the Circle K located along Lobdell Highway on Sunday, July 23. It wasn't until Tuesday, July 25 when the problem was discovered and pumps were closed to the public. 

In that time span, hundreds of drivers may have filled up their tanks with the wrong kind of fuel, which can lead to thousands of dollars worth of damage to a vehicle. Hannah Simms was one of the many unlucky customers.

Simms lives in Erwinville but works in Baton Rouge and she is a regular at that particular Circle K. She filled up her tank on Monday morning and paid cash, but says she was not offered a receipt. 

"Since I was a returning customer I didn't think, 'Oh hey, I need to grab a receipt for paying cash for gas'," Simms said. 

By the end of that day, her car was no longer drivable. And she has gone without a vehicle ever since. 

"I get home and I just make it into my driveway before my car kills," Simms said. 

With only liability insurance on her 2004 Saturn, she cannot afford to pay out of pocket to have her vehicle repaired by a mechanic. 

"I'm scared to take it to a mechanic without knowing if I'm going to be reimbursed."

Simms went through the routine steps to file a report with the La. Department of Agriculture. A letter she received from the department said the gas at the Circle K was tested and confirmed to be contaminated. 

However, Circle K has not returned her phone calls and the insurance company for Circle K finally reached out to her via email on Monday to request a receipt, which she does not have. And she is far from the only customer that is going through this hassle for reimbursement. 

"A lot of people have been affected from out of state. I've had people messaging me from Florida who got gas that day and they haven't been able to go home yet," Simms said. 

Now, she and her lawyer, Rick Dalton, are looking to get surveillance video from the gas station to prove she purchased gas that day. 

"This is bound to be a class action lawsuit and people deserve to get their things fixed if they cannot afford to do it. It's not our fault." 

Anyone who purchased gas from the Circle K on Lobdell Highway between Sunday, July 23 and Tuesday, July 25 should file a complaint with Circle K and the La. Dept of Agriculture if their vehicle is having issues. 

Click here to file a complaint with the La. Dept. of Agriculture. 

The number for Circle K customer service is (800)308-2570.

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