FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 29, 2013
For further information,
Contact: Cynthia Moxley
The Ingram Group
Circuit Court Judge Harold Wimberly this morning denied a trucking company’s request for a restraining order that would have prevented Pilot Flying J from contacting its own customers.
Attorneys for Georgia trucking firm Atlantic Coast Carriers had asked the court to forbid Pilot Flying J from contacting trucking companies to determine if there was an underpayment in their rebate for diesel fuel purchases.
Pilot Flying J CEO Jimmy Haslam has denied any knowledge of federal allegations that Pilot Flying J underpaid some of the company’s trucking company customers rebate money they were owed. He announced last week that the company would audit every one of its trucking customer accounts to determine if there was an underpayment.
“We are delighted with the judge’s decision today,” Tom Ingram, a company spokesman, said after the judge made his ruling. “There was absolutely no proof of any wrongdoing on the part of Pilot Flying J or its CEO, Jimmy Haslam.”
Ingram said the idea that Pilot Flying J should not talk to its customers “is outrageous and would have crippled Pilot’s ability to do business.”
“Equally outrageous,” he said, “is the notion that the CEO of a company should not be able to reach out to his customers and say, ‘If we’ve short-changed you in any way, we apologize and will correct it and pay you 100 percent of what you are owed, no more and no less.'”
Pilot Flying J’s position was argued this morning by Knoxville attorney Albert Harb, of the downtown law firm Hodges, Doughty & Carson. In his filing, Harb said that, contrary to the plaintiff’s claims, Pilot Flying J had not sought any legal releases from the customers it contacted and that the requested restraining order, if enacted, “would have the practical effect of shutting down Defendants’ business and creating havoc throughout the entire trucking industry in the United States.”
Further, Harb argued that Pilot Flying J’s customers “deserve to be paid what they are legitimately owed, no more or no less.” He said the attempt to restrain the company from doing that is “a classic example of ‘no good deed goes unpunished.'”
Harb said the requested restraining order would prevent the company, the largest owner of travel centers and travel plazas in the country, from communicating with its customers even if the customers initiated the contact. “The law does not support such a ridiculous and absurd result,” Harb’s filing stated.
In his oral arguments, Harb invoked Pilot Flying J’s constitutional rights to free speech and association.
The judge took only moments to rule in Pilot Flying J’s favor.
About Pilot Flying J
Pilot Flying J is committed to making life better for America’s drivers. Headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, Pilot Flying J has over 650 retail locations and is the largest operator of travel centers and travel plazas in North America. It is ranked by Forbes as the 6th largest private company in America. The Pilot Flying J network provides customers with access to over 60,000 parking spaces for trucks, over 4,400 showers and over 4,000 diesel lanes, of which over 3,000 offer DEF at the pump. Pilot Logistics Services is one of the largest independent energy logistics companies in North America, selling and distributing over 1.3 billion gallons of refined petroleum products and serving over 15,000 customers. Together, Pilot Flying J and Pilot Logistics Services employ over 25,000 people and generate sales of 9 billion gallons of petroleum annually. Visit www.pilotflyingj.com for more information.