New hearing scheduled as Pilot seeks to consolidate federal cases

By Clarissa Hawes, Land Line staff writer | 2/24/2014

While the majority of the trucking companies affected by the alleged fuel rebate scam chose to be included in the $85 million class action settlement case, some opted out of the settlement to pursue their own legal action against Pilot Flying J.

On Friday, Feb. 21, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation granted Pilot’s attorneys a new hearing on their motion to consolidate the seven pending federal lawsuits filed in different states. Oral arguments are scheduled for 8 a.m. on March 24 in San Diego, Calif.

In its motion, Pilot requests that the remaining federal cases be transferred to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee in Knoxville.

Three of the companies filed complaints in federal court in Alabama, including Shoreline Transportation of Greenville, Ala.; Osborne Transportation Inc. of Rainbow City, Ala.; and Wright Transportation of Mobile, Ala.

Two New Jersey-based companies, National Retail Transportation of North Bergen, and Mario’s Express Service of Edison, along with Triple D Supply of Las Cruces, N.M., and FST Express of Columbus, Ohio, have also been included in the list of cases to be consolidated.

Five trucking companies are continuing their legal fight in state court.

So far, 10 former employees of Pilot Flying J have now pleaded guilty to their roles in the elaborate fuel rebate scam to reduce the amounts trucking companies were supposed to receive by exclusively buying their fuel from Pilot. Pilot CEO James “Jimmy” Haslam III, who also owns the Cleveland Browns, has denied any involvement in the alleged scheme.

See related stories:
Judge approves nearly $85 million in Pilot Flying J class action settlement
Three more ex-Pilot employees plead guilty to roles in alleged fuel rebate fraud

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