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Arkansas federal court agrees to consolidate, oversee claims against Pilot

Pilot Flying J Jimmy Haslam says it is an unfortunate time for his company, which he said was committed to making things 100 percent right with its customers. (Associated Press)

The Trucker Staff

7/16/2013

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas Tuesday agreed to consolidate and oversee class action claims against Pilot Flying J in the diesel fuel rebate inquiry.

Pilot Flying J CEO Jimmy Haslam commended the action, which he said would expedite legal processes by:

• Auditing accounts of all customers who received a rebate and/or discount from Pilot Flying J from 2008 forward.

• Paying all customers 100 percent of any monies owed, with 6 percent interest, as soon as discrepancies are verified.

• Allowing for an independent accountant, approved by the court and paid for by Pilot Flying J, to validate Pilot Flying J’s internal audit process.

• Offering a right to dispute audit results.

• Offering customers the opportunity to opt out, because they do not like the agreement or because they simply do not want to participate in the class action.

• Pilot Flying J will pay all costs related to the process of the customer claims and the litigation, which includes audit costs (both internal and external), administrative costs and legal fees, saving customers significant time and money.

Haslam acknowledged this somewhat unusual court agreement as an additional step to “doing the right thing” and making certain all customers, whose accounts may include a potential discrepancy, are made whole as soon as possible, with interest, with external verification, and without the customer incurring extraordinary legal or investigation expenses.

Under the court agreement, Pilot Flying J will distribute a statement to all of its customers and to the media as part of notice provision to ensure all of its customers have the opportunity to resolve any concerns they may have. The company will make available to attorneys for the class a mailing of all of its customers.

“Customers who are satisfied with their accounts may continue with business as usual, and we assure them our utmost attention, 24-7, 365 days a year, serving them and their drivers,” Haslam said in a prepared statement. “Customers who are concerned about their accounts may join the class by simply doing nothing.  Their accounts will be audited free to the customer.  Finally, customers have the right to opt out and pursue their own legal objectives at their own expense, which can be significant.

“This is an unfortunate time for our customers and our company, but we remain committed to making things 100 percent right with our customers, to put systems in place to help ensure this does not happen again, and to re-earn our customers trust.”

The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at editor@thetrucker.com.

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