Monday, March 6, 2017
Pilot Rebate Civil Suit Settled
By Walter F. Roche Jr.
A settlement has been reached in one of the three remaining civil lawsuits stemming from charges that Pilot Travel cheated truckers out of millions of dollars in promised diesel fuel rebates.
A notice of voluntary dismissal of a suit brought against Pilot, the national truck stop chain, by FST Express was filed today in Franklin County Circuit Court in Ohio. Details of the settlement were not disclosed.
The dismissal filing notes that a similar suit filed by HB Logistics remains to be litigated.
Pilot still faces one other suit now pending in federal court in Alabama. That action was brought by Wright Transportation of Mobile and a scheduling conference is slated for later this week.
The settlement of the of the FST suit comes after Pilot reached settlement of a class action suit filed in federal court in Arkansas and a separate settlement with the U.S. Justice Department. The price tag of those two settlements topped $175 million.
Those followed a raid on Pilot's Knoxville, Tenn. headquarters by federal agents on April 15, 2013.
Ten former Pilot executives have entered guilty pleas to charges they participated in a scheme to cheat truckers out of promised rebates. Eight other Pilot executives have entered not guilty pleas and are scheduled for trial in September.
According to an FBI affidavit filed in U.S. District Court in Knoxville, Tenn. Pilot sales executives systematically reduced the rebates promised to truckers who they thought would not notice.
In the FST and HB Logistics case, Pilot chief executive James Haslam was forced to undergo a deposition, but the session was held behind closed doors and the transcript was sealed at Cleveland Browns owner's insistence.