Haslam works to mend ties with trucking companies; some refuse t

Haslam works to mend ties with trucking companies; some refuse to back down from lawsuits

Posted:
"I've probably talked to literally 250 to 300 trucking companies the last three weeks," Haslam said Tuesday. "I've probably talked to literally 250 to 300 trucking companies the last three weeks," Haslam said Tuesday.

By SAMANTHA MANNING
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Pilot Flying J CEO Jimmy Haslam said he has personally contacted hundreds of trucking companies to resolve disputes over unpaid rebates and isn't done yet.

In his fourth press conference since the investigation came to light, Haslam again didn't take any questions from reporters while speaking in Ohio Tuesday night.

Instead, he reiterated his plans to mend ties with trucking companies and apologized to Cleveland Browns fans.

"Candidly, it was behavior that was particularly improper toward customers," Haslam said, referring to the allegations listed in the nearly 120-page affidavit.

Haslam said the company knew little about the details of the investigation before the affidavit was released.

A day after the FBI and IRS raided the Knoxville-based headquarters, Haslam spoke with reporters in Knoxville.

"It appears to be centered on a very insignificant number of customers and the application of rebates," Haslam said April 16.

Tuesday night, Haslam offered more specific numbers.

"I've probably talked to literally 250 to 300 trucking companies the last three weeks," Haslam said.

That comes out to less than ten percent of its roughly 3,300 trucking company customers.

Morehouse Trucking in Omaha said it settled its dispute with Pilot Flying J, saying it plans to get the money back, though isn't revealing how much.

President of the Nashville-based trucking company Western Express Inc., Paul Wieck, told 6 News Haslam met with him in person to discuss a resolution.

Wieck said he has no plans to file a lawsuit against Pilot Flying J and said it's still unclear how much money the company is potentially owed in unpaid rebates.

Haslam said he's working to identify customers who are rightfully owed money as soon as possible.

"I'd like to wrap things up by the end of the month, but if it takes until early June or early July, we're going to get the numbers right and if we owe XYZ trucking company, we'll write them a check on the spot."

A spokesperson for Pilot Flying J said Haslam was referring to completing the review of customer contracts in that time period.

Lawsuits will go on as planned

There are already five lawsuits filed against Pilot Flying J including in Knox County, Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi and Illinois.

Attorney Mark Tate, who represents four trucking companies in the lawsuit filed in Knox County Circuit Court, said he has no plans to back down from the lawsuit and fully intends to go to court.

Tate said the lawsuit could possibly go to court in 2014.

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WATE. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.