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Proposed Pilot Flying J settlement would cost millions

Haslam Getty Images

On Tuesday, a federal judge in Arkansas tentatively approved the settlement of a nationwide class action made up of customers victimized by alleged (or, in light of five federal guilty pleas from company executives, actual) customer fraud.  Based on a report from WATE-TV in Little Rock, the settlement, if finalized, will cost the company millions.

Every member of the class will receive 100 percent of the amounts owed to them by Pilot Flying J, plus six percent interest.  Though the specific amount of reimbursements isn’t known, legal fees alone would amount to $14 million.

Final approval of the settlement will be considered at a hearing to be held on November 25.

“I commend all of these individuals for their hard work and dedication to ensuring our customers are paid back quickly and fairly for any potential discrepancies found in their accounts,” said Pilot Flying J CEO (and Browns owner) Jimmy Haslam.

“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.”

Still, a significant question arises from the commitment to refund every customer every dollar that wasn’t paid:  How will the amounts due be determined?

It could be that Pilot Flying J will calculate an amount for each class member, and that each class member will have an opportunity to object or to challenge the amount.  Without an independent and reliable process for determining what’s owed, however, relying on the company to make the calculations would sort of be like asking the fox to take inventory of the carcasses in the henhouse.

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9 Responses to “Proposed Pilot Flying J settlement would cost millions”
  1. thestrategyexpert says: Jul 16, 2013 11:02 PM

    Simple interest or compound interest? The basic terms of the deal don’t sound good enough. If I’m one of those customers I don’t like it at all unless you are calculating an initial amount due more than what I show. Otherwise forget that deal. That’s not enough to make it right.

  2. pobreezy says: Jul 17, 2013 12:09 AM

    Great analogy of the situation to end the article.

  3. codiablo says: Jul 17, 2013 1:08 AM

    Wow! What a great deal for a bunch of crap truckers! My dad got cancer in Vietnam from Monsanto dropping Agent Orange on him. I have slight mutations and I worry about my kids….Way to go trucking companies…you are worth more than veterans and their families….monsanto should buy an nfl team then use the players as guinea pigs for there next foray into “winning”. Dick Cheney can be their Pres of Operations.

  4. joenash72 says: Jul 17, 2013 2:01 AM

    Hey, Jimmy, I don’t just want interest. I wanna be compensated for my pain and suffering, too. Pony up!!!

  5. Indybear says: Jul 17, 2013 8:30 AM

    Keep in mind that this is just an approval of a proposed settlement and none, if any, of the litigants has to join the class, regardless if the judge approves it or not. There will be many companies that will not join the class settlement and proceed on their own, so this thing is FAR from over as more lawsuits are being filed each day.

  6. nomorewhodey says: Jul 17, 2013 8:40 AM

    I read that estimates for compensation will reach 50 million. This affected some 4000 companies also most small business trucking co. On one of the reports I read when this broke one of the VP’s was caught saying they cleared 5 mill off just one company. Seems to me ol jimmy is trying to clear the air before someone gets smart. As a browns fan money money might get a little tight real soon, but fair is fair and they need to make it right.

  7. cowpiesnotcowboys says: Jul 17, 2013 10:16 AM

    Full restitution with interest makes the plaintiffs whole with what they are owed, but where’s the punishment for this intentional criminal act? Shouldn’t they be paying triple damages for intentional fraud in addition to criminal sentences for company execs?

  8. thestrategyexpert says: Jul 17, 2013 1:27 PM

    cowpiesnotcowboys:

    I just complained to McDonald’s corporate mngmt after a store refused to give me $2 I felt I was owed for a screwed up order. I had to argue with the manager to no avail. When I called corporate they issued me an apology and sent me $10 in Gift Cards. That’s 5x the amount I was looking for. They said it was only because they really cared about me as a customer and wanted to do anything they could to make it up to me and hope that this was enough. I said thank you, that sounds like a fair deal.

    This deal from Pilot Flying J is a junk deal. Most of those customers could have made more than 6 percent on the money if they had it in the first place. They are still trying to rip those customers off in a way that allows them to get away with it. Sure the business model for Pilot Flying J is bogus because this is more costly in the long-run than doing things right the first time around, but that should be THEIR problem, not the customers.

  9. brownstain says: Jul 17, 2013 2:26 PM

    “Wow! What a great deal for a bunch of crap truckers! My dad got cancer in Vietnam from Monsanto dropping Agent Orange on him. I have slight mutations and I worry about my kids….Way to go trucking companies…you are worth more than veterans and their families….monsanto should buy an nfl team then use the players as guinea pigs for there next foray into “winning”. Dick Cheney can be their Pres of Operations.”

    How is this relevant to the topic? Perhaps you would be better served seeking redress elsewhere.

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