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The original deal required the Knoxville, Tenn.-based company to pay back all money owed with interest, but it only covered the period between Jan. 1, 2008 and July 15, 2013. A revised settlement now covers overcharging that occurred as far back as Jan. 1, 2005, according to a report by The Associated Press.
The change answers one of the concerns raised by trucking companies that did not participate in the settlement negotiations. Those companies have criticized the settlement terms and asked the federal courts to let them go forward with their own lawsuits.
In addition to the change in the deal timeframe, a new website has been launched to provide information on the proposed agreement between Pilot Flying J and the numerous companies who have filed suit against the company in connection with the alleged fraud in its fuel rebate program.
The site, www.dieselrebatesettlement.com, was part of a court order that the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas handed down when it gave preliminary approval to the proposed settlement last week. The website will be maintained by the class administrator, according to Pilot Flying J.
The site details important dates, case updates and frequently asked questions. It also provides links to all notices and documents related to the settlement, as well as contact information.
As CSNews Online previously reported, U.S. District Judge James M. Moody of the Eastern District of Arkansas granted preliminary approval to a proposed agreement that calls for Pilot Flying J to pay the plaintiffs 100 percent of their losses plus 6-percent interest, and to cover all attorney's fees for customers in the class.
Pilot Flying J customers have until Oct. 15 to opt out of the class-action settlement. A fairness hearing has been set for Nov. 25, according to the AP.
In addition to facing civil lawsuits, the company is also the subject of a federal grand jury investigation. Earlier this week, lawyers for Pilot Flying J CEO Jimmy Haslam moved to block him from giving a sworn deposition. A hearing on the motion in Knox County Circuit Court is scheduled for Aug. 30.
Pilot Flying J is a family-owned business that was started by Haslam's father in 1958. The company operates more than 650 retail locations and is the largest operator of travel centers and travel plazas in North America.