(Little Rock, Ark.) - Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and his Pilot Flying J Travel Centers have agreed to settle class action lawsuits. They were filed by trucking companies who alleged they were cheated of promised fuel rebates.
A Class Settlement Preliminary Approval Order was signed Tuesday by U.S. District Judge James M. Moody in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Almost two dozen trucking companies have filed lawsuits against Pilot Flying J.
Newsnet 5 reports:
According to court documents, the Settlement Agreement "provides for a nationwide class settlement of the claims that are the subject of this litigation."
The court found that more than 4,000 customers of Haslam's Pilot Flying J company fall into the Settlement Class as defined in the agreement.
The settlement agreement specifically outlines that there is "no admission of liability" on the part of Haslam and Pilot Flying J Travel Centers and that "the parties entered into the Settlement Agreement solely for the purpose of compromising and settling disputed claims."
"Nothing in the agreement shall be construed, deemed, or offered as an admission by any of the parties or any member of the settlement class for any purpose in any judicial or administrative action."
What's not clear is how many companies will go along with this. As we understand it, the judge has approved the terms of the settlement for all 21 firms and 4,000 customers. But only eight trucking firms were listed as plaintiffs.
This means the other 13 firms can go along with this settlement, or continue pursuing their own lawsuits. Only eight are bound to the judge's decision.
This also does not have any impact on the ongoing federal investigation.
Five employees of Pilot Flying J have already admitted to withholding rebates to try and improve the bottom line and therefore increase commissions.
Haslam has not been charged with any crimes and has repeatedly denied knowledge of any illegal actions.
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