By Walter Roche, The Tennessean
(Knoxville) Lawyers for Pilot Flying J claim in court filings that they actually overpaid two of the trucking companies who have filed suit charging they were cheated out of promised rebates .
In a response filed Friday in circuit court in Knox County, Pilot's lawyers charged that the two firms, Glazier Trucking and Golden Carriers LLC, owe Pilot a total of $1,529.98 because they were overpaid on rebates. In the 11-page filing Pilot's lawyers said a third company was owed nothing.
The Pilot lawyers were responding to a proposed class action suit filed originally by a Georgia trucking firm, Atlantic Coast Carriers, and later joined by several others.
The Pilot response asks for the case to be dismissed because the trucking firms are not owed anything and the claims they have made are not valid.
Lawyers for the trucking firms said Friday they intend to pursue the suit and respond to Pilot's claims.
The suit is one of more than 20 filed against Knoxville-based Pilot following an April 15, 2013 raid on its headquarters by IRS and the FBI. In U.S. District Court in Knoxville, an FBI agent submitted a 120-page affidavit detailing a scheme by Pilot sales executives to reduce the rebates promised to truckers who lacked sophisticated monitoring systems.
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In a separate action in federal court in Arkansas, Pilot has filed a proposed settlement agreement with a handful of truckling firms in which any rebates owed will be repaid with 6 per cent interest.
The proposal, which has won initial approval from U.S. Judge James Moody, provides for lawyers in the case to collect $14 million in legal fees. Moody has set a Nov. 25 date for a fairness hearing on the proposal.
The four trucking firms involved in the Knox County circuit court case have stated they intend to opt out of that proposed settlement.
In the filing Friday, Pilot lawyers said Glazier owes Pilot $64.19 in overpayments, while Golden owes Pilot $1,465.97 because of overpayments.
"Glazier was not owed any moneys under any rebate program," the filing states, adding that Golden has not repaid Pilot for the amount it was overpaid.
Atlantic, according to the complaint, wasn't even a participant in the rebate program during the time of the alleged rebate scheme.