Pilot says 'small percentage' of companies opting out of proposed settlement

By Clarissa Hawes, Land Line staff writer | 10/16/2013

The Oct.15 deadline has passed for trucking companies to opt out of a proposed class action settlement over the alleged fuel rebate scam that has rocked Pilot Flying J.

However, Rachel Albright of The Ingram Group, which is the public relations firm representing Pilot, told Land Line on Wednesday, Oct. 16, in an emailed statement that, “Based on our information to date, a very small percentage of eligible companies are opting out, but we do not have complete information at this time, and we will not be releasing any specifics until we do.”

Some media accounts are reporting that more than 50 trucking companies have opted out of the deal, which would pay eligible companies what they are owed, plus 6 percent. Trucking companies had until Tuesday to opt out of the proposed class action settlement. A hearing is set for November in federal court in Arkansas, which seeks preliminary approval on a class action settlement.

Just days prior to the deadline, at least two trucking companies filed complaints in federal court, opting out of the proposed class action lawsuit.

An Illinois-based trucking company, J.F. Freight Co. Inc., of Palatine, Ill., joined a lawsuit filed by an Ohio trucking company, FST Express Inc.

Both companies claim they did not receive money they were owed through Pilot’s fuel rebate program and seek compensatory and punitive damages and have requested a jury trial.

This brings the number of trucking companies that have filed lawsuits in state and federal court to nearly 30.

So far, seven Pilot employees have pleaded guilty to their roles in the alleged fuel rebate scam.

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