N.H. Sues Shell Oil Co.

Concord — The state is suing Shell Oil Co. for allegedly taking money it wasn’t entitled to for oil spill cleanups and then suing its own insurance company for costs the state already had paid.

Attorney General Joseph Foster announced the suit, filed in Merrimack County Superior Court in Concord on Tuesday. It claims the state spent more than $2.4 million from the Oil Discharge and Disposal Cleanup (ODD) Fund to reimburse gas stations owners, including several in Nashua, it thought were uninsured following oil and fuel leaks.

The money, which is generated from a fee on gas sold in the state, is earmarked to reimburse only stations that do not have insurance. The suit claims Shell failed to tell the state it was insured.

The suit is asking the court to order Shell to repay the $2.4 million plus interest, costs and other damages, and charges the company with fraud, breach of contract and unjust enrichment.

— Nashua Telegraph

Aside from not disclosing it had insurance coverage for the underground storage tank leaks, the state claims Shell took the state’s money as reimbursement and then sued hundreds of its insurance providers, eventually settling for more than $400 million between 1994 and 1998, according to the suit.

A call to Shell Oil’s media relations division was not returned Tuesday.