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In oral arguments this week, DAG Petroleum Suppliers will try to convince the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit to reverse the dismissal of its claims of racial discrimination and conspiracy against petroleum giant BP and BP Products North America Inc. DAG, a black-owned company that owns about 30 Shell gas stations in the D.C. area, claims its unsuccessful $127 million bid in a 2005 auction of 182 BP gas stations in the Washington-Baltimore area was millions higher than the successful bid from white-owned Eastern Petroleum Corp. In its appeal brief, DAG states that none of BP’s 620 wholesale distributors is owned by African-Americans. DAG claims BP misled DAG about the auction criteria and leaked inside information about the bid process to Eastern. U.S. District Judge James Cacheris of the Eastern District of Virginia granted BP’s motions for summary judgment last year. Eyob “Joe” Mamo, president and CEO of DAG, says the auction was “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” for DAG, which is seeking more than $150 million in damages. Richard Godfrey, a partner with Kirkland & Ellis in Chicago who will argue the case for BP, referred a call seeking comment to a BP spokesman, who declined to comment. Roy Englert Jr. with D.C.-based Robbins, Russell, Englert, Orseck, Untereiner & Sauber is representing DAG on appeal.
Brendan Smith can be contacted at [email protected].

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