$72M Pilot settlement with 5,500 trucking companies made final in court

| November 25, 2013

pilot 2A judge has given final approval to Pilot Flying J’s class-action settlement agreement with trucking companies who sued the fuel provider and truck stop chain over alleged rebate withholding fraud. Pilot will be paying out about $72 million to roughly 5,500 class members — all of them trucking companies. 

Judge James Moody in a U.S. District Court in Little Rock, Ark., granted final approval for the settlement at a hearing Monday, Nov. 25.

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Pilot Flying J to pay $72 million in fuel rebate withholding settlement, court docs show

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Per the terms of the settlement, Pilot will be paying 100 percent of discounts gone unpaid, along with 6 percent interest. The company will also be paying class members costs of internal audits and court fees and expenses.

In a document filed last week asking the court for final approval, Pilot says no written objections to the settlement were filed. As of Friday, Nov. 22, 146 members had opted out of the settlement, either to file a separate lawsuit or pursue other action. However, when treating affiliated companies as single entities, Pilot says, the number of opt-outs is 60. 

According to a court petition filed by Pilot earlier this month, the settlement runs about $72 million, awarding $55 million in owed fuel rebates, $4.1 million in interest, $3.5 million for auditing costs and up to $14 million in attorney’s fees. 

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Pilot reached the settlement in the Arkansas court in July. The company’s Knoxville headquarters were raided in April by federal agents, and an affidavit unsealed the same week showed the company was being investigated for fraud allegations stemming from withholding millions of dollars in fuel rebates from trucking company customers who had contracts with the company regarding diesel sales. 

Several Pilot employees have since pleaded guilty to fraud allegations. 

CEO Jimmy Haslam says he was not aware the scheme occurred and has taken steps to prevent the alleged fraud from occurring again. 

Click here to see all of Overdrive‘s coverage of the Pilot allegations, lawsuits and settlement.

  • John Scott

    Be nice if everyone could just buy from someone else. But we know that won’t happen. The really big discounts come from big companies buying fuel on future markets. Locking in tens of thousands of gallons. This is what is killing small operators. Working from pump prices will kill you on today’s rates in freight. Its another reason why the small business operator is being squeezed.

  • Dave

    I know of a small truckstop in MO, that has 2 24 hr. locations, that stays competitive with the “big boys”. And quite often they get their fuel from Memphis, TN, instead of the much closer St. Louis supplier. They may be a little higher in their store, but you don’t have to wait 30 minutes to get fuel while some jackass driver blocks the island to get something to eat, take a dump, or a shower. And they sell plenty of fuel too.

  • http://www.hazzardayre.blogspot.com/ Col Patrick G Montgomery

    now if Flying J would pay our family the money we lost as one of the original founding investors in Flying J Inc. back in 1969, I’d be greatful. Flying J along with Pilot went away ignoring $250,million in money due to my family. Maybe we can now sue. Now that the door has been opened.

  • Diana Webb

    So will the refunds ripple down to the drivers? And where is a list of which companies sued?

  • Pingback: TR – Pilot Flying J To Pay $85M In Class Action Settlement | parkandwait

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