By Margaret Cronin Fisk
and Andrew Harris
FedEx Corp., the world’s largest cargo airline, agreed to settle a lawsuit over claims the company was “systematically overcharging” customers by billing for deliveries to businesses and government offices at higher residential rates.
A “preliminary settlement approval hearing” is set for July 23, according to a filing in federal court in Memphis, Tenn., where the company is based. Terms were not disclosed.
“The details will be released when we move for preliminary approval,” said Steven Rosenwasser, an attorney for the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs will request certification of a national class of consumers for the settlement.
“We have reached a tentative settlement in this case which will be subject to court approval,” Shea Leordeanu, a FedEx spokeswoman, said in an e-mailed statement.
FedEx was accused in the 2011 complaint of overcharging commercial and government customers as much as $3 each for tens of thousands of packages delivered.
The plaintiffs asked to proceed on behalf of all customers of the company’s FedEx Express unit since 2010 who paid the alleged overcharges and those who were overcharged by its FedEx Services unit after August 2008.
FedEx charged residential rates to destinations including the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Office in Chicago, a Bank of America Corp. facility in Tampa, Fla., and the Safariland Group body armor company in Jacksonville, Fla., according to an amended complaint filed in December.
The plaintiffs, claiming violations of federal civil racketeering law, asked for three times the amount of the alleged overcharges in their lawsuit.
FedEx denied the overcharging allegations and said customers could challenge the charges, according to court filings.