Federal hearing scheduled Thursday involving Jimmy Haslam's fuel rebate lawsuits

Pilot Flying J seeks Knoxville trial

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - A federal judicial panel is scheduled to meet Thursday to consider consolidating eight remaining lawsuits involving Jimmy Haslam's Pilot Flying J Travel Centers and alleged fuel rebate fraud.

Oral arguments will begin at 9:30 a.m. before the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation meeting in San Diego, California.

Trucking companies represented in the hearing "opted out" of the $85 million class action settlement reached last November between Pilot Flying J and truckers who claimed they were cheated of promised fuel rebates.

Attorneys for Pilot Flying J will argue that the remaining eight lawsuits be consolidated and moved to Knoxville, Tennessee to be heard as one case.

According to court documents, Pilot Flying J argues the remaining cases involve "common questions of fact" and that Pilot defendants, witnesses, key evidence and "the majority of the alleged conduct" took place in Knoxville.

Even so, attorneys for Shoreline Transportation--one of eight trucking companies with pending lawsuits--argue each case has "different factual scenarios" and each trucking company "will likely have been defrauded in unique manners and by different Pilot employees."

Shoreline attorneys argue that consolidation would be "inconvenient and costly" for trucking companies to travel to Knoxville.

The judicial panel will decide whether to consolidate cases and where future trials will be heard.



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