Hundreds of drivers were able to save thousands of dollars on premium-grade fuel after a California gas station manager mistakenly sold gas for just a fraction of the actual price.
The now-fired gas station manager, John Szczecina, claimed he accidentally put in 69 cents instead of $6.99. For comparison, the current average gas price in the United States is $5.01, and the last time it was 69 cents a gallon in 1978.
Customers were calling friends and family to fill up quickly due to the error.
People began to share the low pricing on social media, and a line formed outside the gas station in no time.
“Well, it was a mistake that I did, you know,” he said. “And I just thought, ‘This is a nightmare.’”
On Monday, Szczecina was fired after the gas station lost over $16,000 in revenue.
“So I just took responsibility for it,” he said, “and I said, ‘Yeah, it’s my fault.’”
Szczecina’s family is now concerned that he may be sued in addition to being fired. To assist him with repaying the $16,000, his family launched a GoFundMe page.
However, according to Craig Zimmerman, a corporate attorney, Szczecina should be protected from legal action. Employees are protected from liability in situations like this, where they make mistakes while executing routine tasks.
“The only way he would be responsible absent a written agreement is if he was acting outside the scope of his employment,” Zimmerman said. “For instance, if his boss said, ‘Whatever you do, don’t ever set the price on that gas pump.’ And then he did.”