Here’s the Law that Requires Baltimore Gas Stations to Provide Free Air

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free airIn case any doubters remain that Baltimore has a law requiring gas stations to let you put air in your tires for free, we’ve found the section of the city code that sparked a lawsuit against RoFo.

It lies in a section titled “Consumer Protections,” in a subsection called “Motor Fuel Service Station Facilities,” in a further subsection called “Free Services Required.”

Per Baltimore City Code:

After January 1, 1980, every retail dealer licensed under this subtitle who opens a new motor
fuel service station shall provide free of charge to patrons the following:

(1) toilet facilities and hand washing facilities maintained in good working order and sanitary

(2) hand towels at every self-service island for the use of patrons;

(3) at least 1 air pump for tire inflation in good operating condition and accessible to patrons;

(4) at least 1 water outlet in good operating condition and accessible to patrons.

Turns out, Royal Farms was already making changes to provide free air before the lawsuit was filed. But the court action will continue, a lawyer for the plantiff said.

The suit is designed “for Royal Farms to provide free air in the future, and also to recover money that has been paid in the past,” said Ben Carney, an attorney with the Towson law firm Gordon Wolf and Carney, which is representing the suit’s plaintiff.

Since it’s a class action lawsuit, the total number of money would be the charge for air multiplied by however many people used the air pumps, Carney said. Potentially, that could mean thousands of people are eligible to join the suit, and reclaim their quarters.

In order for the suit to go forward, a judge would have to agree that the people bringing the suit have a case, which is known as certifying the class. At that point, the judge would put out a notice to certify the case.

However, Carney said, none of that has happened since the complaint was just filed this week. According to the Daily Record, Royal Farms hasn’t even been served.

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