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Steamed about gas price come-on, attorney files suit

Less than a block from the offices of his prominent law firm, the Texaco gas station and it's advertised discount prices were alluring to attorney Jack Scarola.

It became less alluring when he learned that the price-per-gallon, advertised in two-foot-high numbers on huge signs beckoning motorists, was not the same price that was charged at the pumps. To get the discount, he learned, you had to pay for a car wash. That, he claimed, was explained in smaller letters on a different sign.

Upset by the 10-cent-per-gallon price difference, Scarola did what attorneys do: He sued.

According to the suit one of his colleagues filed this week on his behalf in Palm Beach County Circuit Court, he's not just doing it for himself. He is seeking class-action-status so a successful lawsuit would benefit anyone who paid more than the advertised price.

Ricky Vogel, manager of the gas station and several others owned by Sun Gas Marketing and Petroleum, said Scarola's beef has already been addressed. Several weeks ago, he said, they stopped posting the discount price at stations in West Palm Beach and Boca Raton.

"It matches," he said, adding that he wasn't aware a lawsuit had been filed.

While Scarola blasted the former practice as "deceptive advertising," Vogel disagreed.

"You don't have to post your price at all in Florida," he said.