In a settlement agreement, attorneys for Pilot Flying-J and plaintiff trucking companies have agreed to settle all claims for about $35 million.
In Little Rock, U.S. District Judge James M. Moody approved a settlement in a class-action lawsuit involving allegations that the truck-stop giant systematically overcharged customers for diesel fuel, in violation of previous agreements. The timing of this settlement is probably not coincidental with the plaintiffs hiring of Louis L. Freeh. The lawyer and former FBI director has been involved with other high-profile matters, including the Jerry Sandusky criminal trial and the bounty scandal surrounding the New Orleans Saints.
In signing off on the settlement, Mr. Haslam reiterated his commitment “to make things 100 percent right.” The settlement terms include:
Cash settlement for all claims Up to 25 percent in damages Flying-J pays all attorney fees and costs
Effect beyond Arkansas
Many defense attorneys whose clients face multiple lawsuits in multiple jurisdictions sometimes select one action to settle and hope that that settlement begins a “domino effect” in the other jurisdictions. Defense attorneys hope that the other cases go away, and for an amount of money commensurate with the first settlement.
The Flying-J lawsuits fit into this scenario. Flying-J faces multiple class-action lawsuits in multiple jurisdictions; moreover, the FBI has compiled quite a bit of evidence against Flying-J in an ongoing criminal investigation.
As for the Georgia case, attorneys for both the plaintiffs and defendant remain hopeful that a full and fair out-of-court settlement may be reached to avoid costly litigation.