updated 10/20/2008 5:20:27 PM ET 2008-10-20T21:20:27

Drivers for FedEx Corp. have won about $14.4 million in a dispute over whether the delivery company illegally classified them as independent contractors instead of employees.

Lawyers for about 200 drivers said Monday that a referee appointed by a Superior Court judge had awarded the amount in reimbursed job-related expenses and interest.

The award is about $9 million more than was awarded to the drivers by a trial court in 2005.

The referee, retired state Superior Court Judge William J. Cahill, was asked to decide the issue of additional compensation and interest owed to the drivers.

Documents in the case detailed expenditures for fuel, vehicle maintenance, insurance and uniforms for the drivers.

Lawyers for the drivers argued that the company made drivers pay $7 million in improper expenses. FedEx objected to about $1 million in expenses, but of that Cahill denied only $32,000 worth.

Lawyers in the case are also representing drivers in dozens of other similar cases in about 40 states, which have been consolidated in a federal lawsuit in South Bend, Ind. They said more than 27,000 current and former drivers have been notified of the lawsuits and fewer than 150 have opted not to take part.

Shares of Memphis, Tenn.-based FedEx rose $1.57, or 2.5 percent, to $64.12 on Monday.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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