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New Jersey's Acting Gov. Richard Codey said Monday the state had sued Motiva Shell, Amerada Hess and Sunoco for overpricing gasoline after Hurricane Katrina shut much of the Gulf's oil production and damaged refineries.
New Jersey motorists paid an average of $2.87 a gallon on Monday, according to the American Automobile Association.
State law bars gasoline stations from raising prices more than once every 24 hours, but Codey said multiple price changes had occurred within that period.
"Katrina was a devastating hurricane, not a financial windfall for the shameless," the Democratic governor said in a statement.
Jeff Lamm, spokesman for the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, said he believed the state was the first to sue oil companies for overcharging motorists after Katrina's destruction spiked average U.S. gasoline prices to a record $3.07 per gallon in early September, according to the Energy Information Administration.