Truck stop chain Pilot Flying J received court approval yesterday for settlement of fuel rebate/discount monies eight trucking companies were suing to retrieve from the firm – a settlement Pilot Flying J CEO Jimmy Haslam said in a statement that would encompass 100% of any monies owed plus 6% interest as soon as discrepancies are verified.

He added that the settlement includes the use of an independent accountant – approved by the court and paid for by Pilot Flying J – to validate the truck stop chain’s internal audit process.

“We 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,” Haslam said. “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.”

He noted the agreement is somewhat unusual in that it ensures that all of Pilot Flying J’s customers with validated discrepancies in their accounts are paid 100% of what they are potentially owed, plus interest, within the next few months, rather than years later after a long, expensive and drawn out lawsuit.

“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,” Haslam emphasized. “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.”

News reports also indicated that six Pilot Flying J employees were fired or quit as a result of the fuel rebate/discount investigation, with three more placed on administrative leave.

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