Pilot Flying J has filed a civil lawsuit against Falcon Transport of Youngstown, Ohio, and its private equity owners, alleging the now-defunct carrier owes the truck stop chain nearly $800,000 in unpaid fuel bills.
Pilot alleges that Falcon failed to pay its weekly fuel bill from April 11 to April 25 in the amount of nearly $800,000, according to court documents filed earlier this week in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.
Falcon shuttered its doors abruptly after sending a message to nearly 500 drivers through their PeopleNet devices to cease driving immediately late April 27. Some were under loads and their fuel cards weren’t working when they were notified the company was shutting down.
“The sudden cease of operations by Falcon Transport was unfortunate for all those involved, especially its employees and professional drivers,” Kristin Seabrook, chief legal counsel of Flying J, said in a statement to FreightWaves. “As a valued partner of ours for more than 15 years, we’re saddened by this news, but as one of the affected parties, [we] must ensure the financial stability of our company as well.”
Also named in the lawsuit is the private equity company, CounterPoint Capital Partners of Los Angeles, which purchased the struggling trucking company in a leveraged buyout for $27 million, with an additional $33 million in debt financing in September of 2017, according to PitchBook.
Included in the complaint is a alter-ego and piercing of the corporate veil count. Pilot alleges CounterPoint “exercised control over Falcon so complete that Falcon did not have a separate mind, will or existence of its own.” The suit alleges that CounterPoint “removed funds from Falcon and/or undercapitalized Falcon to Pilot’s detriment.”
Other counts included in the civil suit against Falcon and CounterPoint include breach of contract and unjust enrichment.
In its complaint, Pilot is seeking no less than $797,000 for the outstanding fuel bills per its contract arrangement, pre-and post-judgment interest and attorney’s fees.
Eric Willis, managing partner and co-founder of CounterPoint Capital Partners, did not respond to FreightWaves’ request for comment regarding the lawsuit.