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Consumer Protection — minimum markup laws

Wisconsin Court of Appeals


Consumer Protection — minimum markup laws

Retail motor vehicle fuel station owner Raj Bhandari appeals a circuit court order denying his motion for summary judgment and granting summary judgment to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) on Bhandari’s constitutional challenge to mandatory minimum markup provisions in Wisconsin’s Unfair Sales Act (the Act). These provisions require retail sellers such as Bhandari to sell motor vehicle fuel at prices above defined rates. Bhandari argues that the court’s entry of summary judgment in favor of DATCP improperly ignored “unrebutted expert testimony demonstrating that there [is] no connection” between the Act’s minimum markup requirement and the state’s “concerns about ‘sales below cost.’” We conclude that DATCP offered expert opinion establishing plausible policy reasons for the classification established by the Act that are not arbitrary in relation to the legislative goals, and Bhandari’s expert opinion does not show that DATCP’s expert opinion is entirely speculative or without merit. We therefore affirm the order. Not recommended for publication in the official reports.

2009AP599 Bhandari v. Nilsestuen, et al.

Dist IV, Dane County, Sumi, J., Blanchard, J.

Attorneys: For Appellant: Dean, Michael D., Brookfield; Mellor, William H., III, Arlington, VA; McNamara, Robert, Arlington, VA; Berliner, Dana, Arlington, VA; For Respondent: Blythe, Christopher J., Madison

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