In 2000 Suit, Linda Thompson Claims Gas Station Spill Led to Fear of Filling Up

Lara Brenckle, Patriot-News (Harrisburg), October 27, 2009

Harrisburg City Council president and mayoral candidate Linda Thompson answers questions about her finances at Loveship Inc. headquarters on the 2300 block of North 5th Street in Harrisburg. At left is Gerry Robinson of Manheim Township, chairman of the board of Loveship Inc.

In a 2000 civil lawsuit filed in Bucks County, Linda Thompson claimed a faulty pump sprayed her with gasoline, leaving her in damaged clothing and with a lingering fear of filling up her cars with gasoline.

The suit, which is still moving through the court system, accused the Texaco Star Mart, Texaco, the station’s owner/operator Motiva Enterprises, Shell Oil Co. and Saudi Aramco, of negligence.

According to records from the Bucks County Prothonotary’s Office, Thompson, who is the Democratic candidate for mayor of Harrisburg, was traveling through Levittown on Aug. 1, 1998, when she stopped at the Texaco Star Mart to put gas in her car.

The gas pump broke and drenched her in gasoline, she claims in the suit.

In addition to a variety of physical symptoms, including extreme burns, persistent nausea and lightheadedness, the suit alleges that Thompson also said she suffered “psychological and emotional illness.”

“(Thompson) is unable to psychologically pump her own gas,” the suit states. It also notes that “(Thompson) becomes ill upon the smell of gas and will not seek to obtain gas until absolutely necessary as a result of this incident.”

Thompson asked for $50,000, plus interest, costs and attorney fees, for each of three claims she filed.

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[Editor’s Note: A story about Linda Thompson and her finances can be read here.]

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