Long-haul carrier Gilbert Express and OOIDA announced jointly today the settlement of a class action lawsuit against the carrier that was filed in October 2000.
The OOIDA lawsuit, filed in federal court on behalf of individual owner operators, alleged that the form of owner-operator agreement then used by the carrier violated certain federal Truth-in-Leasing regulations. The lawsuit was similar to those brought by OOIDA against other trucking companies nationwide.
Gilbert Express sought bankruptcy protection last June, citing the costs and uncertainty related to the litigation as a principal reason for its filing. According to Gilbert Express president Richard Gilbert, the settlement with OOIDA paves the way for the company's emergence from Chapter 11.
"The cost to continue to defend the OOIDA litigation class action was undoubtedly one of the biggest single factors that prompted the bankruptcy filing and, until now, one of the impediments to our successful emergence," he said.
Though the terms of the settlement were not announced, they include a commitment by Gilbert Express to use the form of agreement negotiated with OOIDA that complies with federal regulations, OOIDA said.