Fuel Smarts

Revised Pilot Flying J Settlement Covers Longer Period for Claims

July 24, 2013

By Evan Lockridge

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The truckstop chain Pilot Flying J has revised a settlement it reached last week with eight trucking companies that filed suit against it earlier this year over claims it cheated them out of fuel rebates and discounts.

It has also rolled out a website where those who feel they have claims against the company can get information on the settlement.

The updated settlement, which has been granted preliminary approval by a federal judge in Arkansas, calls for the company to repay money owed going back to Jan. 1 2005, plus interest and customer attorney fees. The original settlement had the same terms but only went back as far as Jan. 1, 2008.

The move is believed to be an answer to some critics of the original settlement who claimed they did not have enough time to review its terms.

Both settlements include eight trucking companies. Pilot Flying J still faces suits from about a dozen other plaintiffs, but the company hopes they will agree to the new deal. The settlement also is open to additional companies that feel they may have been wronged by Pilot Flying J, but have not taken any legal action. A hearing on consolidating the remaining cases is reportedly set for Thursday.

An initial notice is set to be mailed on Aug. 6 to entities who are eligible to participate in the settlement.

Customers who want to opt out of the new settlement or object to it have to do so by Oct. 15.

A fairness hearing on the settlement is set for Nov. 25.

The new website, DieselRebateSettlement.com, has answers to frequently asked questions about the settlement and copies of court documents.

The litigation came about following a raid by the FBI on the headquarters of Pilot Flying J on April 15 as part of a criminal investigation that the company cheated customers. Since then several employees have been placed on administrative leave, with five pleading guility to charges.

CEO Jimmy Haslam has not been charged and has said since the beginning he knew nothing of the alleged scheme to inflate company profits. Both he and the company deny any wrongdoing. 

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