It’s a holiday week, but the litigation machine never sleeps. Especially when liability is pretty clear.
According to Alison Grant of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, two more lawsuits alleging fuel rebate fraud were filed Wednesday against Pilot Flying J, the company run by Browns owner Jimmy Haslam.
One company, R&R Transportation of Minnesota, contends it received a letter on July 1 from Pilot Flying J, citing a “potential discrepancy” for the trucking company that buys roughly 140,000 gallons of fuel per month. A check was enclosed, for an amount not disclosed in the lawsuit.
Haslam previously has promised that Pilot Flying J will settle up with customers for any amounts not properly paid, plus interest.
Another company, Townes Trucking of Coffeeville, Mississippi, sued in federal court in Louisiana, likewise claiming rebate fraud.
Per the Plain Dealer, the new filings expand the total number of customer lawsuits to 18. Multiple class actions have been filed; if any one of them is certified, all potentially defrauded customers will be joined in a single action, with each customer having the opportunity to sue on its own, if it so chooses.
The total potential liability isn’t known, and for Haslam it’s a less significant worry than the possibility that he’ll be indicted. Five Pilot Flying J executives have pleaded guilty, and it’s expected that more will do the same.
One said in his plea agreement that “senior management” of the company was aware of the scam.