If you’ve worked as a truck driver for New Prime, Inc. or attended training to become a Prime truck driver, you may have received an email around October 5, 2020 about your eligibility to participate in a class and collective action settlement.
The same day the email was sent out, Prime drivers received another message through Prime’s app and Qualcomm system warning that the lawsuit notice was a phishing scam. It looked something like this:
This information from Prime is not true.
The email you received about the Prime driver settlement is not a “phishing attempt” as Prime’s communication claimed, but is a legitimate, court-approved communication regarding a real class and collective action settlement that will allow drivers to claim payments for Prime’s alleged violations of state and federal labor laws.
Here’s what you need to know about the settlement and how to file your claim.
The email about the settlement is not a phishing scam.
The settlement notice you received was sent as part of a court-approved notice program for two class and collective actions:
The Oliveira lawsuit, which was filed in March 2015, alleged that Prime failed to properly pay trainees during orientation, and that its pay practices with regard to employee drivers and independent contractors violated state and federal wage and hour laws. This suit went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, with legal advocacy group Public Justice securing a ruling that transportation workers could not be forced into arbitration for wage and hour claims.
The Haworth lawsuit, filed in January 2019, alleged that Prime’s compensation of B and C seat drivers violated state and federal wage and hour laws.
Although Prime denies these allegations, the company has chosen to settle the cases to avoid further litigation, which means those included in the lawsuits will be able to file claims to get back some of the money they’re potentially owed.
As part of the $28 million settlement, court-approved notices were sent out via email around October 5, 2020 to truck drivers and trainees potentially affected by the lawsuits.
The message sent out by Prime later that day was, according to an emergency motion filed with the court on October 6, “entirely false and plays on people’s fears about potential email scams.”
The website set up to help administer the settlement, www.primetruckingsettlement.com, is a legitimate site designated by the court to help drivers learn about the settlement and file their claims. Any information you provide through this website will only be used to issue payments from the settlement.
If it’s not a scam, how did they get my information?
If you received an email about the settlement, it means that you were identified during the legal proceedings as someone who may be affected by the lawsuits.
During part of the lawsuit process known as discovery, both sides need to turn over information to identify whose rights may be affected by the lawsuit and how to contact them. Prime has records of those who have worked for or trained with the company, and this information was likely used to send out class action notices once a settlement was reached.
Who is included in the settlement?
All individuals who have attended training to become truck drivers for Prime or have driven for Prime as employee drivers or independent contractors who leased their trucks through Prime at any time between October 2, 2012 and May 8, 2020 are included. The settlement also includes all individuals who have otherwise attended training in Missouri to become truck drivers for Prime at any time between March 4, 2010 and May 8, 2020.
What benefits does the settlement provide?
If the court approves the settlement on January 13, 2021, anyone in the above settlement group will automatically receive a minimum $100.00 payment, unless you exclude yourself from the settlement.
If you file a claim (or “consent to join” form), you will receive an additional amount from the settlement fund, which will be divided in the following ways:
Orientation Fund: Payments from this fund will depend on the type of training or orientation you attended and where you attended it. B/C Seat Fund: Payments from this fund will be based on the miles driven in B or C seat status compared to your gross earnings during that time. A Seat Fund: Payments from this fund will be based on the miles driven in A seat status as an employee driver (or company driver) compared to your gross earnings during that time. Independent Contractor Fund: Payments from this fund will be based on miles driven in A seat status as an independent contractor compared to 65 percent of your gross revenue earned during that time.
Additionally, those who participated in another class action settlement in California against Prime will receive a 50-percent share from the settlement.
The minimum amount you’ll be paid if you complete the claim form should be listed in the notice you received from the court. You won’t receive less than that amount, but you may receive more depending on how many people participate in the settlement.
On top of the monetary payments, Prime has also agreed not to pursue collection efforts for money that may be owed to Prime by certain drivers and trainees and will work with credit reporting agencies and HireRight to make sure the records of those accounts are deleted or rescinded. You can find more information about that on the settlement website’s FAQ page.
How do I file a claim?
You can file a claim online by clicking here.
You can also send a claim form to the settlement administrator via mail, email or fax at the following addresses:
The deadline for filing a claim is December 7, 2020.
What happens if I do nothing?
If you do nothing, you will automatically receive the $100 minimum payment from the settlement and you will release any claims against Prime regarding the matters addressed in the lawsuits. That means you won’t be able to individually sue New Prime, Inc. or its affiliates and subsidiaries over the claims brought in these cases.
If you want to preserve your right to sue Prime, or don’t want to participate in the settlement, you must exclude yourself by December 7, 2020. Instructions on how to do so can be found on the settlement website’s FAQ page.
Where can I find more information?
The first place to check would be the settlement website, where you’ll be able to find more details about the settlement, an FAQ page, and important documents you can review.
If you have additional questions, you can contact the settlement administrator using the contact information below:
Prime Trucking Settlement Administrator
c/o JND Legal Administration
P.O. Box 91185 Seattle, WA 98111
Keep in mind that the settlement process can take a while, and you won’t receive any payments until after the court grants the settlement final approval. A final fairness hearing is set for January 13, 2021.
Until then, keep up with class action news and updates by signing up for ClassAction.org’s newsletter here.