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Nevada Ramblings —
October 2002

Columnist — Carolyn Bishop

A 12-year old girl who was engulfed in flames as she pumped gas into her parents’ Camaro at a Henderson, Nevada convenience store has prevailed in a lawsuit against Exxon, GM, and the nozzle manufacturer, Husky.

In her lawsuit, she alleged that the upholstered seats in the Camaro created an electrostatic charge as she slid across the seats to exit the car.

In addition, she alleged the emergency fuel shut-off valve, located on an outside wall of the convenience stores, was locked shut and the store clerk couldn’t see the gasoline dispensers outside because of electronic gaming machines and other obstacles.

Carolyn Bishop Headshot

Also mentioned in her complaint was "the shape of the pocket assembly around the fill-tube to the Camaro’s fuel tank allowed fuel vapors to accumulate and that the nozzle itself was designed and manufactured with characteristics that rendered it unsafe."

The girl’s father suffered second degree burns when he went to her assistance. A bystander used a fireproof sun shields from his car to wrap the girl and extinguish the flames.

Authorities advise that if a fire starts at the fuel port (where the nozzle is fitted inside the tank), it’s important not to remove the nozzle…which seems the logical action to take.

The Petroleum Marketers Association of America has sent out a memorandum asking for information from the state associations to determine the estimated financial impact on small business and the jobber class of trade in regards to the EPA final rule on the Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure. The final rule became effective on August 16, 2002. Marketers will have six months to revise their existing SPCC plans.

Herbst Gaming Inc., owned by the Herbst family, the founders of Herbst Oil Company in Las Vegas, has reported their second quarter net income has soared to $1.7 million. Their 2001 income was $200,000 for the same quarter.

Just in from the Nevada Petroleum Marketers and C-Store Association: revised information on their golf tournament. It will be held on October 16 at the Rhodes Ranch Golf Club, 20 Rhodes Ranch Parkway, Las Vegas, NV. There will be continental breakfast at 7:00 a.m. followed by an 8:00 a.m. shotgun start. A BBQ lunch and prizes will follow the tournament. The entry fee is $140. Call 775-348-1888 or FAX 775-348-2011 for reservations.

Don’t forget to plan for the Western Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Expo at the Mirage in Las Vegas on Feb. 18-20, 2003. Former First Lady Barbara Bush will be the keynote speaker. She often jokes that her successful life is a result of marrying well. You can register on-line as an attendee or exhibitor at www.wpma.com.

I have an inside scoop on the very probable WPMA Post-Convention Tour scheduled for May 9-18, 2003. At the top of the list is a "Springtime on the Blue Danube River" cruise aboard the MV Mozart. The cruise will begin in Munich, Germany and travel down the Danube River through central Europe. At the end of the cruise, you’ll have the option of extending your tour to stay in Prague for four days of sightseeing.

Originally published in the October 2002 issue of the O&A Marketing News.
Copyright 2002 by KAL Publications Inc.

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