(a) Except as provided in section 486H-3, a petroleum distributor shall be liable to a gasoline dealer who sells the products
of the petroleum distributor under a franchise from the distributor for damages and
such equitable relief as the court deems proper resulting from the wrongful or illegal
termination or cancellation of the franchise during its term or the petroleum distributor's
unreasonable refusal to renew the franchise.
(b) A gasoline dealer suffering damages as a result of the termination or cancellation
of, or failure to renew, the dealer's franchise may bring an action under this section
against the petroleum distributor who wrongfully or illegally terminated, canceled,
or unreasonably refused to renew the dealer's franchise in the court of general jurisdiction
in which such petroleum distributor has the distributor's principal place of business,
is found, or has an agent. The action may be brought without regard to the amount in controversy. If the gasoline dealer prevails in the action, the dealer may recover actual damages
sustained, the costs of the suit, including reasonable attorneys' fees, and such equitable
relief as the court deems proper.
The court may also grant such temporary relief as it may deem necessary and proper.
(c) It shall be a defense to any action brought under this section that the franchise
was terminated, canceled, or not renewed because:
(1) The gasoline dealer failed to comply substantially with essential and reasonable
requirements of the franchise agreement;
(2) The gasoline dealer failed to act in good faith in carrying out the terms and
provisions of the franchise; or
(4) Of other legitimate business reasons; provided that a termination, cancellation,
or failure to renew a franchise for the purpose of enabling the petroleum distributor
to assume operation of the gasoline dealer's business shall not be considered to be
a legitimate business reason unless the gasoline dealer is paid reasonable compensation
for the value of the dealer's franchise, including goodwill.
(d) No action may be brought under this section for a cause of action which arose
more than two years prior to the date on which the action is brought.
FindLaw Codes may not reflect the most recent version of the law in your jurisdiction. Please verify the status of the code you are researching with the state legislature or via Westlaw before relying on it for your legal needs.
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