Jimmy Haslam, Pilot settle civil lawsuits with trucking companie - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

Jimmy Haslam, Pilot settle civil lawsuits with trucking companies

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Jimmy Haslam, CEO of Pilot Flying J and Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam, CEO of Pilot Flying J and Cleveland Browns owner
(WOIO) -

New information involving Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and the rebate scandal at his family business Pilot Flying J.

Tuesday morning, Haslam entered into an agreement to settle all the civil lawsuits against Pilot Flying J. Just before 1 p.m., the judge signed preliminary approval of the settlement. [Read the complete settlement HERE]

Haslam and Pilot will pay 100 % of refunds owed to trucking companies plus 6 % interest in settlement. There are 4,000 members in the Pilot class action lawsuit besides the initial 8 trucking companies. It's expected only a small amount of the 4,000 are owed money.

Haslam released the following statement on Tuesday

"Today in the United States District Court, Western Division of the Eastern District of Arkansas, our attorneys, working together with attorneys for eight of the companies that have filed class action lawsuits against Pilot Flying J, agreed to a plan to pay all customers who join the class 100% of the money they are owed, plus 6% interest, as soon as possible and without the need for unnecessary time in court, plaintiff legal fees or out of pocket costs. 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.

"Customers who already received checks with interest based on our internal field audit team's ongoing review will receive supplemental checks for any additional interest not included in the original calculation.  In addition, all of our customers, as defined by the court agreement, may join the class and have a free independent accountant, approved by the court, validate Pilot Flying J's internal audit process of the customer's account.

"In addition, Pilot Flying J will pay all court, administrative, accounting, mailing, processing and legal costs incurred as part of the procedure approved by the court today, ensuring our customers will get every dollar they are owed, with interest, without protracted legal battles, time delays or costly legal expenses.

"Under the court agreement, Pilot Flying J will distribute a statement to all of its customers and to the media as part of notice provision to ensure all of our customers have the opportunity to resolve any concerns they may have in this fashion.  We also will make available to attorneys for the class a mailing of all of our customers.

"Customers who are satisfied with their accounts may continue with business as usual, and we assure them our utmost attention, 24-7, 365 days a year, serving them and their drivers.  Customers who are concerned about their accounts may join the class by simply doing nothing.  Their accounts will be audited free to the customer.  Finally, customers have the right to opt out and pursue their own legal objectives at their own expense, which can be significant.

"This is an unfortunate time for our customers and our company, but we remain committed to making things 100% right with our customers, to put systems in place to help ensure this does not happen again, and to re-earn our customers trust."

More than dozen companies filed suit against Pilot Flying J after the FBI raided Pilot's headquarters in April.

So far, five Pilot employees have pleaded guilty to federal charges in connection to a rebate fraud scheme at the national truck stop company.

On Monday, Reporter Scott Taylor discovered that Haslam and Pilot had just mailed out refund checks to every customer their internal audit identified.

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