Diesel Rebate Settlement
In mid 2013 the truck stop chain Pilot Flying J reached a revised settlement with eight trucking companies that had filed suit against the chain earlier in the year over claims it cheated the trucking companies out of fuel rebates and discounts.
At the same time, Pilot Flying J rolled out a website where those who felt they had claims against the company could get information on the settlement.
This was that website.
Content is from the site's 2013 archived page, as well as from outside press sources .
this is the official site for the proposed settlement - national trucking financial reclamation services, llc et al. v. pilot corporation et al., case no. 4:13-cv-00250-jmm
WE HAVE NOT YET MAILED SETTLEMENT NOTICES TO CLASS MEMBERS. WE WILL BEGIN THE NOTICE MAILINGS ON AUGUST 6, 2013. PLEASE BE PATIENT.
IF YOU BELIEVE YOU ARE A MEMBER OF THE CLASS AND HAVE NOT RECEIVED A NOTICE IN THE MAIL BY AUGUST 30, 2013, PLEASE LET US KNOW BY EMAIL. A COPY OF THE NOTICE IS AVAILABLE ON THIS SITE AS WELL.
Pilot Flying J rebate and discount program participants could get payments from a class action settlement.
- A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit about whether rebates and discounts were properly paid to individuals, businesses, and other entities who participated in Pilot Flying J's over-the-road diesel fuel rebate and discount programs.
- The settlement involves only purchases of over-the-road diesel fuel from stores operated by Pilot Flying J in the United States between January 1, 2005 and July 15, 2013. Individuals, businesses and other entities included in the settlement purchased over the road diesel fuel for commercial use in Class 7 and Class 8 vehicles (as defined by the U.S. Department of Transportation) and participated in Pilot Flying J "cost-plus" or "retail-minus" rebate or discount programs. The settlement does not include retail discounts given for payments made by cash, check, or major credit card at the point of sale.
- If you received a notice in the mail, Pilot Flying J believes you are included in the settlement. You may be eligible to receive a settlement payment.
- There is no claim form or claims process. Pilot Flying J will provide automatic payments ("Settlement Payments") calculated as follows:
- + Unpaid rebates and discounts from January 1, 2005, through July 15, 2013 (the "Principal")
- + 6% simple interest per year or fraction of a year for the period when the Principal was unpaid
- - Any payment previously made by Pilot Flying J as part of its Voluntary Payment Program
- $ Settlement Payment to Eligible Class Member who had unpaid rebates or discounts
- A Court-appointed Independent Accountant will check the accuracy of Pilot Flying J’s calculations by verifying the processes and procedures used to make these payment calculations.
- If you disagree with the results of Pilot Flying J’s audit of your account, there is a process to challenge that result through the Independent Accountant or the Court.
- Your legal rights are affected whether you act, or do not act. Read the notice carefully.
|YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS AND OPTIONS IN THIS SETTLEMENT
|Receive a Payment
|If you are eligible to receive a payment, a check will be mailed to you automatically. There is no action to take now.
|You choose not to participate in the settlement and you do not receive a Settlement Payment. This is the only option that allows you to sue Pilot Flying J over the claims resolved by this settlement.
|Write to the Court about why you do not like the settlement.
|Go To A Hearing
|Ask to speak in Court about the fairness of the settlement.
|Give up your rights to sue Pilot Flying J and other related parties about the legal claims resolved in this settlement. You will receive a check if you are eligible to receive a payment.
- These rights and options - and the deadlines to exercise them - are explained in the notice.
- The Court in charge of this case still has to decide whether to approve the settlement. If it does, payments will be mailed to Eligible Class Members. Please be patient.
Important Dates and Case Updates
AUG 6, 2013
Initial Notice Mailing to class members
OCT 15, 2013
Deadline to exclude yourself ("opt out") of the class.
OCT 15, 2013
Deadline to object to the settlement.
NOV 25, 2013
The Court's Fairness Hearing (9:15 a.m.)
CASE UPDATE - JANUARY 2016
January 19, 2016
Re: Final Settlement Check
As part of the settlement, Eligible Class Members previously received one or more checks representing all discrepancies in their negotiated pricing structure, plus 6% interest.
In addition to the above payment(s), Pilot Flying J agreed, upon the conclusion of payments to all Eligible Class Members, to redistribute the uncashed settlement checks to the remainder of the Eligible Class Members. As a result, Pilot Flying J has calculated the pro rata share of the total sum of unpaid cash settlement amount for each Eligible Class Member.
The letter and check were mailed out today.
Frequently Asked Questions
Click on one of the following topics to see more information. If you have a specific question or problem that is not addressed, please see thepage for instructions on how to contact the Claims Administrator.
- Basic information
- Who is in the settlement?
- Settlement benefits
- Excluding yourself from the settlement
- Objecting to the settlement
- The lawyers representing you
- The Court's fairness hearing
- If you do nothing
- Getting more information
Why is this Notice being provided?
A Court authorized the notice because you have a right to know about a proposed settlement of this class action lawsuit and about all of your rights and options before the Court decides whether to approve the settlement.
If you received the notice in the mail, Pilot Flying J believes you are included in the settlement because you bought over-the-road diesel fuel from Pilot Flying J pursuant to a cost-plus and/or retail-minus rebate or discount program between January 1, 2005 and July 15, 2013. Depending on the results of Pilot Flying J’s audit of its diesel fuel rebate and discount accounts, you may or may not be eligible to receive a Settlement Payment. The notice explains the lawsuit, the settlement, your legal rights, what benefits are available, and who may be eligible for those benefits.
The Court overseeing this class action is the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas. The case is known as National Trucking Financial Reclamation Services, LLC et al. v. Pilot Corporation et al., Case No. 4:13-cv-00250-JMM.
The persons and companies who sued are called Plaintiffs, and the companies and persons they sued are called Defendants. The Defendants are Pilot Corporation (f/k/a Pilot Oil Corporation) and Pilot Travel Centers LLC d/b/a Pilot Flying J (collectively referred to as "Pilot Flying J"), along with FJ Management, Inc., CVC Capital Partners, James A. "Jimmy" Haslam III, Mark Hazelwood, Mitch Steenrod, Scott Wombold, John Freeman, Vincent Greco, and Brian Mosher.
The notice summarizes the settlement.
What is this lawsuit about?
On April 18, 2013, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation filed an affidavit of Robert H. Root which alleged a scheme by Pilot Flying J employees to deceptively withhold diesel fuel price rebates and discounts from Pilot Flying J customers.
Plaintiffs in this class action say that Defendants failed to properly account for and pay rebates and discounts to customers who participated in Pilot Flying J’s over-the-road commercial diesel fuel rebate and discount programs. The parties to the lawsuit have entered into a Settlement Agreement.
Why is this a class action?
In a class action, one or more people called Class Representatives (in this case, National Trucking Financial Reclamation Services, LLC, Bruce Taylor, Edis Trucking, Inc., Jerry Floyd, Mike Campbell, Paul Otto, Townes Trucking, Inc., and R&R Transportation, Inc.) sue on behalf of businesses and people who have similar claims. All of these businesses and people are a "Class" or "Class Members." One court resolves the issues for all Class Members, except for those who exclude themselves from the Class
Why is there a settlement?
The Court did not decide in favor of Plaintiffs or Defendants. Instead, both sides agreed to settle this case to avoid the cost and risk of trial. The settlement does not mean that any law was broken or that Defendants did anything wrong. Defendants deny all legal claims in this case. The Class Representatives and their lawyers think the settlement is best for all Class Members.
who is in the settlement
How do I know if I am part of the settlement?
If you received the notice in the mail, Pilot Flying J has identified you as a Class Member. The Court decided that the Class includes all individuals, businesses, and other entities in the United States who purchased over-the-road diesel fuel for commercial use in Class 7 or Class 8 vehicles from Pilot Flying J under a cost-plus and/or retail-minus rebate or discount program, from January 1, 2005 to July 15, 2013. The lawsuit and settlement do not involve retail discounts for payments made by cash, check, or major credit card at the point of sale.
What are Class 7 and Class 8 vehicles and how does this affect whether I am Class Member?
Class 7 vehicles have a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 26,001 to 33,000 pounds. Class 8 vehicles have a GVWR of more than 33,000 pounds. These classifications are defined by U.S. Department of Transportation in U.S. DOT regulation, 48 CFR 565.15.
Only rebate and discount program participants who purchased over-the-road diesel fuel for commercial use in Class 7 and Class 8 vehicles are included in the settlement. For these program participants, the settlement covers all over-the-road diesel fuel purchases from Pilot Flying J in the United States from January 1, 2005 to July 15, 2013 that were covered by a cost-plus or retail-minus rebate or discount program.
What if I am a leased or contracted owner-operator?
If the settlement is approved, payments will be mailed to all persons and entities who participated directly in a Pilot Flying J cost-plus and/or retail-minus rebate or discount program and who did not receive all of the rebate or discount amounts they were owed by Pilot Flying J. Defendants will make one Settlement Payment to each Eligible Class Member, and Defendants are not responsible for any payments to an Eligible Class Member’s leased or contracted owner-operators.
If you are a leased or contracted owner-operator who participated only indirectly in a Pilot Flying J rebate or discount program through a Class Member who participated directly in the Pilot Flying J program, you should consult with that Class Member if you believe you are entitled to a portion of that Class Member’s Settlement Payment (if any).
What are "cost-plus" and "retail-minus" rebate and discount programs?
There are two kinds of programs covered by the settlement: cost-plus and retail-minus.
In a cost-plus arrangement, the Pilot Flying J program participant pays a price per gallon that is a certain number of cents above the average cost (which is defined as the daily posted Rack Cost plus applicable Taxes, Additives (if applicable) and Freight (such average daily posted Rack Cost shall be the prior day Oil Price Information Services ("OPIS") contract average pricing for 10am EST or as directed by the third party billing company)) for that location. For example, if the average cost at that location is $3.50 per gallon at the time of purchase, and if the cost-plus arrangement with Pilot Flying J is for the cost plus 10¢ per gallon, then the price paid by that program participant for that purchase would be $3.60 per gallon.
In a retail-minus arrangement, the Pilot Flying J program participant pays a price per gallon that is a certain number of cents below the listed retail pump price at the time of purchase. For example, if the pump price is $4.00 per gallon at the time of purchase, and if the retail-minus arrangement with Pilot Flying J is for the listed retail price minus 10¢ per gallon, then the price paid by that program participant for that purchase would be $3.90 per gallon.
The Class does not include retail discounts for payments made by cash, check, or major credit card at the point of sale.The Class also does not include any claims for rebates or discounts offered by Flying J Inc. before July 1, 2010, when its assets were acquired by Pilot Travel Centers LLC, in that any claims arising from any such rebate or discount program were discharged in Flying J Inc.’s bankruptcy proceeding in 2008
What if I did not receive a notice in the mail?
If you did not receive a notice in the mail and you think you are a Class Member, contact the Settlement Administrator by sending an email to info@DieselRebateSettlement.com or writing to:
Pilot Flying J Settlement Administrator
PO Box 869066
Plano, TX 75086-9066
Are there exceptions to being included?
Yes. Individuals, businesses, or other entities who timely request to be excluded from the Class (see "Excluding Yourself from the Settlement", below) are not included in the Class. Also excluded are officers, directors, employees, parents, and subsidiaries of Pilot Corporation and Pilot Travel Centers LLC, as well as judicial officers and employees of the Court.
What if I am not sure whether I am included in the settlement?
If you have reviewed the information on this website and are still not sure if you are included in the settlement, you can send an email to info@DieselRebateSettlement.com or write to:
Pilot Flying J Settlement Administrator
PO Box 869066
Plano, TX 75086-9066
the settlement benefits - what you get if you qualify
What payments will the settlement provide and when will payments be mailed?
This settlement does not have a claim submission process. Instead, Class Members who are eligible to receive compensation (Eligible Class Members) will be mailed settlement checks beginning approximately 30 days after the Court grants final approval to the settlement (see "The Court’s Fairness Hearing", below).
The amount of this payment will be calculated as follows:
+ Unpaid rebates and discounts from January 1, 2005 through July 15, 2013 (the “Principal”)
+ 6% simple interest per year or fraction of a year for the period when the Principal was unpaid
- Any payment previously made by Pilot Flying J as part of its Voluntary Payment Program
$ Settlement Payment to Eligible Class Member who had unpaid rebates or discounts
The Voluntary Payment Program is the program under which Pilot Flying J already has paid certain Class Members for unpaid rebates and discounts as Pilot Flying J completes its audits of individual customer accounts.
Any Court order granting final approval will be promptly posted on the settlement website, www.DieselRebateSettlement.com. Even if there are appeals, payments would be mailed beginning about 30 days after the Court grants final approval. It is not known when or if the Court will grant final approval - please be patient.
Will all Class Members receive a payment?
Probably not. If it is determined that a Class Member originally received proper discount and/or rebate amounts or received more than the Class Member was owed, the Class Member will not receive a Settlement Payment. Each Class Member who is not eligible to receive a payment will be mailed a notice informing that Class Member of the outcome of the audit process.
Who will calculate unpaid rebates and discounts?
Pilot Flying J’s internal auditors will determine whether any amounts are owed to Class Members based on non-payments or underpayments of rebates or discounts. Pilot Flying J’s auditors will also calculate the amounts of the payments to Eligible Class Members.
A Court-approved Independent Accountant will review the work performed by Pilot Flying J’s auditors to confirm that the work performed by Pilot Flying J’s auditors (1) properly identifies the Eligible Class Members who are entitled to compensation, and (2) accurately quantifies the amounts of Settlement Payments. The Independent Accountant will use a statistical sampling method to verify the accuracy of the Settlement Payments. The Independent Accountant will issue a report to the Court with an opinion on whether Pilot Flying J’s auditors’ calculations meet the accuracy criteria that are described in the Settlement Agreement.
If there is a disagreement between Pilot Flying J’s auditors and the Independent Accountant as to the amount of any particular Settlement Payment, the Eligible Class Member will be paid the amount determined by the Independent Accountant, or as otherwise ordered by the Court.
How will interest be calculated?
If any unpaid rebate or discount amount for a diesel fuel purchase transaction is owed to an Eligible Class Member, interest will be calculated as 6% of that "Principal" amount owed multiplied by the number of years (either in whole numbers or fractions of years, as appropriate) that have passed from the date the incorrect rebate or discount amount was originally provided to the customer to the date on which Pilot Flying J’s auditors complete their audit of that program account. In other words, the Settlement Payments will be calculated using the following formula:
$ Settlement Payment = [(Principal + ((Principal*6.00%)*years)) – any Voluntary Payment Program amount]
Pilot Flying J currently believes that its audit of rebate and discount program accounts will be completed sometime in late 2013.
What if I disagree with the calculation of my payment amount?
Each Eligible Class Member will receive a notice of the outcome of the audit process. If you disagree with the outcome, you will have 30 days from the day you receive the Settlement Payment or notice (if no payment is owed) to send a written request for a review by the Independent Accountant. The audit notice will explain how to request a review.
This Independent Accountant’s review will be completed within 30 days of your request. If Defendants disagree with the Independent Accountant’s determination, however, Defendants can apply to the Court within 30 days for further review of the payment amount.
If you disagree with the Independent Accountant’s decision, you may hire your own accountant at your own expense to audit your Pilot Flying J program account and file a motion with the Court to challenge the Independent Accountant’s decision. If you intend to challenge the Independent Accountant’s decision, you must notify the Court and Defendants within 30 days after you receive the Independent Accountant’s decision.
After review, if the Independent Accountant or the Court determine that you are entitled to more than was provided in the original Settlement Payment, Defendants will mail any settlement check to you within 30 days after a final determination has been made by the Independent Accountant or the Court (if you challenge the Independent Accountant’s decision).
What if I do not deposit or cash my settlement payment?
Eligible Class Members will have 120 calendar days within which to cash or deposit their settlement checks. If there are checks that have not been deposited or cashed within 150 days after the mailing of all payments to Eligible Class Members, or if there are any Settlement Payments that are undeliverable, these remaining amounts will be redistributed to Eligible Class Members who deposited or cashed their checks. Each Eligible Class Member’s second payment will be pro rata - or based on the Eligible Class Member’s initial payment in proportion to all initial Settlement Payments that were deposited or cashed by the Class Members.
What else does the settlement provide?
Defendants also agree that they will not deliberately and deceptively withhold price rebates or discounts from customers in the United States who purchase over-the-road diesel fuel for commercial use in Class 7 or Class 8 vehicles, without the knowledge or approval of the customers, and which results in Pilot Flying J charging the customers a higher price for diesel fuel than the agreed-upon price. The legal term used to describe this is "permanent injunction."
What am I giving up to get a payment or stay in the Class?
If the Settlement becomes final, you will be releasing Defendants and "Releasees" from all "Released Claims" as these terms are defined and used in Paragraphs 23-24 and Section X of the Settlement Agreement, meaning you will have no ability to sue any of the Releasees with respect to any of the Released Claims. The Settlement Agreement is available here. The Settlement Agreement describes the releases with specific descriptions in necessary, accurate legal terminology, so read it carefully. You can talk to the lawyers representing the Class (see "The Lawyers Representing You", below) for free and/or you can, at your own expense, talk to your own lawyer if you have questions about the Released Claims or what they mean.
excluding yourself from the settlement
If I exclude myself, can I get anything from this settlement?
No. If you exclude yourself, you will not receive a Settlement Payment and you cannot object to the proposed settlement. However, if you ask to be excluded, you may sue, continue to sue, or be part of a different lawsuit against Defendants in the future. You will not be bound by anything that happens in this lawsuit.
If I do not exclude myself, can I sue later?
No. Unless you exclude yourself, you give up the right to sue Defendants for all of the claims that this proposed settlement resolves. You must exclude yourself from this Class to start your own lawsuit, continue with a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit relating to the claims in this case.
How do I exclude myself from the settlement?
To exclude yourself from the proposed settlement, you must send a letter by mail clearly stating that you want to be excluded from National Trucking Financial Reclamation Services, LLC v. Pilot Corporation, Case No. 4:13-cv-00250-JMM. You must include your name, your business name, brand name (if applicable), address, telephone number, signature, and date. Your letter must also describe the position that authorizes you to request exclusion on behalf of your company.
You must mail your request for exclusion so that it is postmarked by October 15, 2013 to:
Pilot Flying J Settlement Exclusions
PO Box 869066
Plano, TX 75086-9066
You cannot ask to be excluded on the phone, by email, or at the website, so no such efforts will accomplish an exclusion.
objecting to the settlement
How do I tell the Court if I do not like the settlement?
You can object to the settlement if you do not like some part of it. You must give reasons why you think the Court should not approve the settlement. To object, send a letter to the four addresses below, saying that you object to the proposed settlement in National Trucking Financial Reclamation Services, LLC v. Pilot Corporation, Case No. 4:13-cv-00250-JMM. Be sure to include:
your name, address, telephone number, and email address;
information identifying you as a Class Member;
the reasons why you do not like the settlement or some part of it, accompanied by any legal support for your objection;
the names of all attorneys representing you in this case;
the names of any attorneys who will appear at the Fairness Hearing to represent you (see "The Court’s Fairness Hearing", below);
your signature or the signature of your duly authorized attorney or other duly authorized representative (along with documentation setting forth such representation);
a list, by case name, court, and docket number, of all other cases in which you (directly or through counsel) have filed an objection to any proposed class action settlement;
a list, by case name, court, and docket number, of all other cases in which your attorneys (on behalf of any person or entity) have filed an objection to any proposed class action settlement; and
a list, by case name, court, and docket number, of all other cases in which you have been a named plaintiff in any class action or your attorney has served as lead plaintiff class counsel.
You must mail the objection to each of the following four different addresses so that it is postmarked no later than October 15, 2013:
Pilot Flying J's Counsel
Clerk of the Court
Aubrey B. Harwell, Jr.
What is the difference between objecting and asking to be excluded?
Objecting is simply telling the Court that you do not like something about the settlement. You can object only if you stay in the Class. Excluding yourself is telling the Court that you do not want to be part of the Class. If you exclude yourself, you cannot object to the settlement because the case no longer affects you.
the lawyers representing you
Do I have a lawyer in the case?
The Court has appointed the lawyers listed below as Settlement Class Counsel to represent you and other Class Members. You will not be charged for these lawyers. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer in this case, you may hire one at your own expense.
Don Barrett and Sterling Starns
Michael L. Roberts, Stephanie Egner Smith, and Jana K. Law Roberts Law Firm, P.A.
Thomas P. Thrash and Marcus Bozeman
Ben Barnow, Sharon A. Harris, Erich P. Schork, and Blake A. Strautins
Shpetim Ademi and John D. Blythin Ademi & O’Reilly, LLP
Richard L. Coffman
G. Robert Blakely
Dewitt M. Lovelace
Richard R. Barrett
William E. Hoese
Elizabeth A. Alexander and Kenneth S. Byrd Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP
Michael W. Sobol Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP
Charles F. Barrett
Daniel E. Becnel, Jr.
Michael D. Hausfeld
How will the lawyers be paid?
Settlement Class Counsel intend to ask the Court for attorneys’ fees in an amount not to exceed 33.33% of the Total Principal Amount Owed, or $14 million, whichever is less, and will also request reimbursement of their costs and expenses. "Total Principal Amount Owed" means the total of the amounts calculated as owing to all Eligible Class Members based on Defendants’ diesel fuel rebate and discount programs between January 1, 2005 and July 15, 2013, including any amounts paid under Pilot Flying J’s Voluntary Payment Program, but not including the interest payments described in Question 15. Settlement Class Counsel will also request incentive awards of $10,000 for each of the Class Representatives for their services on behalf of the whole Class.
The Court may award less than these amounts. Any award of attorneys’ fees, costs, and expenses and incentive awards will be stated in a Court order following submission by Settlement Class Counsel of a "Fee Application" request.
The payment of attorneys’ fees, costs, expenses, and incentive awards approved by the Court are in addition to all of the other benefits under the settlement and will be paid separately by Defendants.
the court's fairness hearing
When and where will the Court consider whether to approve the settlement?
The Court will hold a Fairness Hearing at 9:15 a.m., on November 25, 2013, at the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas (Little Rock), located at 500 West Capitol Avenue, Little Rock, Arkansas 72201. At the Fairness Hearing, the Court will consider whether the proposed settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. The Court may also consider Settlement Class Counsel’s request for attorneys’ fees, costs, and expenses, and the incentive awards.If there are objections, the Court will consider them. After the Fairness Hearing, the Court will decide whether to approve the proposed settlement and how much to award to Settlement Class Counsel as fees, costs, and expenses and to the Class Representatives as incentive awards.
The Fairness Hearing may be moved to a different date or time without additional notice, so it is recommended that you periodically check this website for updated information.
Do I have to come to the hearing?
No. Settlement Class Counsel will answer any questions the Court may have. However, you are welcome to attend the hearing at your own expense. If you send in a written objection, you do not have to come to the Fairness Hearing to talk about it. As long as you mailed your written objection on time, the Court will consider it. You also may pay your own lawyer to attend the Fairness Hearing, but their attendance is not necessary.
May I speak at the hearing?
To speak at the Fairness Hearing, you must send a "Notice of Intention to Appear" in National Trucking Financial Reclamation Services, LLC v. Pilot Corporation, Case No. 4:13-cv-00250-JMM. Be sure to include the case name and number along with your name, address, telephone number, and your signature. Send your Notice of Intention to Appear postmarked no later than October 15, 2013, to all four addresses listed below:
Pilot Flying J's Counsel
Clerk of the Court
Aubrey B. Harwell, Jr.
You cannot speak at the hearing if you exclude yourself from the settlement.
if you do nothing
What happens if I do nothing at all?
You do not have to do anything now to get a payment. However, unless you exclude yourself, you will not be able to start a lawsuit, continue with a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit against Defendants or Releasees about the Released Claims in this case, ever again.
getting more information
How do I get more information?
This notice summarizes the proposed settlement. More details are in the Settlement Agreement which is available at www.DieselRebateSettlement.com. If you still have questions, you may contact the following lawyers who are representing the Class as Co-Lead Counsel.
Michael L. Roberts
Thomas P. Thrash
You may also send an email to info@DieselRebateSettlement.com or write to:
Pilot Flying J Settlement Administrator
PO Box 869066
Plano, TX 75086-9066
Do not write or telephone, the Court, the Clerk’s office, or Pilot Flying J about the lawsuit or the settlement.