Gilbert Express settles OOIDA class action paving way for emergence from bankruptcy

| Monday, April 01, 2002

April 1, 2002, Grain Valley, MO ----Gilbert Express and the Owner-Operator Independent Driver's Association ("OOIDA") announced jointly today the settlement of their long-standing dispute. In October 2000, OOIDA filed a class action lawsuit against the carrier in federal court on behalf of individual owner operators, alleging that the form of owner-operator agreement then used by the carrier violated certain federal Truth-in-Leasing regulations. The lawsuit was similar to those brought by OOIDA against other trucking companies nationwide.

Gilbert Express sought bankruptcy protection last June in Trenton, NJ, citing the costs and uncertainty related to the litigation as a principal reason for its filing. According to Richard Gilbert, Gilbert Express's president, the settlement with OOIDA paves the way for the company's prompt emergence from Chapter 11. "The cost to continue to defend the OOIDA litigation class action was undoubtedly one of the biggest single factors that prompted the bankruptcy filing and, until now, one of the impediments to our successful emergence. With the matter now resolved, I see no reason we can not successfully reorganize and come out of chapter 11 quickly."

Jim Johnston, OOIDA's president, also voiced his support for the settlement. "Whenever and wherever we believe our members have been harmed, we will vigorously pursue appropriate remedies to the full extent of the law. The settlement with Gilbert Express resolves issues of vital importance to our members in a satisfactory way. We look forward to normal relations with the company and its owner-operator drivers on a go-forward basis."

Though the terms of the settlement were not announced, they are known to include a commitment by Gilbert Express to use the form of agreement negotiated with OOIDA that complies with federal regulations. The settlement still must be approved by the Bankruptcy Court. Gilbert Express is a long-haul carrier based in Linden, New Jersey.

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