published Thursday, August 8th, 2013

Panel rejects consolidation of Pilot lawsuits

Pilot Flying J's corporate offices are pictured in this file photo.
Pilot Flying J's corporate offices are pictured in this file photo.
Photo by The Knoxville News Sentinel /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

NASHVILLE — A federal judicial panel has denied a request by trucking companies to have one judge preside over numerous lawsuits filed against the truck-stop chain owned by the family of Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam.

The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation in Portland, Maine, ruled on Thursday that consolidating the cases would delay settlement proceedings over fraudulent fuel rebates by Pilot Flying J.

Pilot, the nation's largest diesel retailer, last month agreed to settle one of the lawsuits, a class-action suit in Arkansas, by offering to reimburse with interest all the money trucking companies were owed since 2005.

Attorneys for other trucking companies suing Pilot have called the settlement rushed and inadequate.

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