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Compensation for 'bad gas' victims nears

Thursday, July 06, 2017

The Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC) says it is now at the final hurdle in the 'bad gas' saga and hopes, by the end of December, to reach an agreement to start paying out compensation to those who were affected.

Chairman of the CAC Kent Gammon, while trying to shy away from setting another timeline for the completion of the matter, told reporters yesterday at the CAC quarterly press briefing at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries in Kingston, that he is hopeful “we can get something done in the next two quarters”.

The bad gas issue surfaced in 2015 following complaints from several motorists that their motor vehicles had been damaged due to 'bad gas' bought at service stations islandwide.

The chairman, in providing an update on the issue, said that the Bad Gas Committee that was established to evaluate the complaints is currently in the process of validating the complaints and has so far validated 224 of the 382 complaints.

He added, however, that: “The 382 figure does not represent the total number of 'bad gas' claims as not all have submitted the relevant information or may have come in after the April 8, 2016 deadline.

But Gammon said the validation exercise that is being carried out by the Island Traffic Authority and which has prevented the issues from being fully resolved, will be completed by the end of July.

“The Petroleum Marketing Association and other stakeholders were agreeable, in concept, to the $32-million compensation but the one area that was the sticking point had to do with the verification of the 382 complaints, because there is anecdotes of people mixing petrol in their backyard,” he said.

“There is a willingness, I think, to settle the matter and we think we have cleared all hurdles, save and except for the final verification, which is why we are now at the stage of 60 per cent along the 382 complaints, and so as soon as we get to the 100 per cent we will revert to the plan,” Gammon said.

Following the completion of the validation exercise, he said the commerce minister will meet with all the affected stakeholders to bring about a resolution.

“It's a matter of national importance and we really want to get this issue put to bed and I really believe they want to get the issue put to bed,” he added.