SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Attorneys for Jimmy Haslam's Pilot Flying J Travel Centers have been granted a new hearing to consolidate seven remaining federal lawsuits alleging fuel rebate fraud.
Court documents filed in U.S. District Court in San Diego, California reveal that a March 27, 2014 hearing is scheduled for oral arguments by Pilot attorneys and those representing trucking companies that claim they were cheated of promised fuel rebates.
Pilot Flying J has already settled similar lawsuits in an $85 million class action settlement reached last November--but some trucking companies opted out of the settlement and are continuing a legal battle in court.
In an order issued by a U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, the panel ordered that it "may, on its own initiative, consider transfer of any or all of the actions" to any district or districts.
In documents filed with the court, Pilot Flying J attorneys have argued that the remaining lawsuits should be transferred to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee in Knoxville.
Pilot's attorneys argue that the company is based in Knoxville, the vast majority of documents are located in Knoxville and six of the named defendants in the lawsuits "live in or around" Knoxville.
Among the trucking companies involved are Shoreline Transportation, Osborne Transportation and Wright Transportation--all based in Alabama as well as National Retail Transportation and Mario's Express Service based in New Jersey.
Triple D Supply of New Mexico and FST Express of Columbus, Ohio are also pursing lawsuits.
In addition to the remaining federal lawsuits, five additional trucking companies are pursuing lawsuits in state courts in Tennessee and South Carolina.