Federal judicial panel denies consolidating class action lawsuits against Haslam company

Pilot releases update on financial condition

PORTLAND, Maine - A federal judicial panel Thursday issued an order denying transfer and consolidation of multiple class action lawsuits against Jimmy Haslam's Pilot Flying J Travel Centers.

Meanwhile, Pilot's Chief Financial Officer released a statement saying the company's overall financial standing remains strong, has not acquired excessive debt and diesel sales compared to last year are down just one percent.

The company estimates it may have lost half a percent of business to competition.

More than 20 trucking companies across the country have filed class action lawsuits alleging that Haslam's company cheated them on promised fuel rebates.

In July, a federal Judge in Little Rock, Arkansas grant preliminary approval of a settlement agreement reached among some of the companies suing Pilot.

Meanwhile, attorneys for other trucking companies that object to the settlement asked a three-judge panel to rule on a motion to transfer and consolidate multiple class action lawsuits filed across the country  to one court.

Pilot argued the case should remain in Arkansas pending final approval of the class action settlement agreement expected this November.

The U.S. Judicial Panel on multi-district litigation, meeting in Portland, Maine, ruled that "we find that centralization at this time will not serve the convenience of the parties and witnesses or promote the just and efficient conduct of the litigation."

The panel ruled that centralization "could delay the settlement proceedings."

The ruling means that multiple class action lawsuits filed in six federal court districts across the country will remain in those jurisdictions until the Arkansas court "issues final approval or disapproval" of the settlement.

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