Remaining lawsuits against Pilot Flying J consolidated, transferred to Kentucky

| April 11, 2014

pilotThe seven outstanding lawsuits against Pilot Flying J in the wake of the company’s alleged fuel rebate withholding scheme have been consolidated and transferred to a federal district court in Kentucky, according to court documents.

Pilot filed a motion with a judicial panel on multidistrict litigation in December to centralize the seven remaining suits against it and transfer them to Pilot’s hometown of Knoxville, Tenn.. The truck stop chain and fuel provider argued that consolidating the cases would help “avoid duplicate proceedings, a waste of judicial resources and the risk of inconsistent adjudications.” 

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The four-judge panel that heard arguments from both defendant Pilot Flying J and plaintiffs — who argued against consolidation — agreed with Pilot, consolidating cases brought by Shoreline Transportation of Alabama, Osborn Transportation, Wright Transportation, National Retail Transportation, Mario’s Express Service, Triple D Supply and FST Express. 

Judge Amul R. Thapar, of a federal court in Tennessee, is presiding over the criminal investigation into Pilot’s alleged fraud and will also oversee the civil proceedings in the district court in Kentucky where the cases have been transferred. 

The judicial panel also writes in its transfer order that 50 plaintiffs opted out of the class action settlement struck between Pilot and the roughly 5,500 trucking companies, pointing to the possibility that more civil cases could be brought against Pilot, which would reinforce the need for consolidation. 

Pilot’s settlement, worth $85 million, was finalized in court in November, and the company announced in January that by Dec. 31 it had paid 95 percent of all trucking companies owed money. The settlement terms awarded all members of the class principle money owed along with 6 percent interest and court fees. 

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Members of the class could opt out, however, and pursue separate legal action, as the seven trucking companies involved in the consolidation have done. 

Pilot’s Knoxville headquarters were raided by federal investigators last April, and an affidavit was unsealed the same week that accused the company of scamming trucking companies out of owed fuel rebates for nearly a decade-long period. 

So far, 10 Pilot employees have pleaded guilty to fraud and conspiracy charges in plea deals. 

Click here to see all of Overdrive’s coverage of the Pilot Flying J case.

  • riped off driver

    So now when will the trucking companies pay the owner ops their share and all drivers the money they stole from them fair is fair

  • jan johnson

    There are a lot more owner ops then that right up. We all couldn’t afforded to file the lawsuits. I hope I IRS enjoyed the right off I did.

  • Jean C Couture

    All truckers still paying for this elaborate fraud .Prices at pumps as OPIS Index show are inflated at some locations and a true Audit is what will show what they stole from the Truckers .. http://www.pilotflyingjclassaction.com

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  • Del Ray Johnson

    How about as part of the settlement free internet service at the truck stops!

  • haller

    Gee-wiz, I wonder why 7 separate lawsuits were consolidated and then transferred to Kentucky?? To save Pilot money? No hanky-panky gong on there…. I’d rather see the 7 separate lawsuits transferred to Houston, Texas and Pilot answer each law suite separately. I know this would cost Pilot more money, but isn’t that what this is all about, lying and money, allowing businesses that lie and cheat people out of money to stay in business…. We all respect businesses that make money honestly, take care of their employees, support their community, etc. but to the dishonest and lying businesses I say “off with your heads”..

  • B Dubya

    I’ve followed this story since it first broke. The day after I saw this story, I stopped using Pilot & Flying J for any reason whatsoever.

    To me, Pilot & Flying J are just another sleezy truck stop to be avoided.

  • Del Ray Johnson

    @haller honesty does not exist in trucking so long as trucking companies are allowed to cheat driver out of wages as part of their business. So far as Pilot and the rest of the truck stops they ain’t going to lose a dime 7 lawsuits or 70 lawsuits so what like I have said over and over the price of diesel goes UP but not the Driver Pay everyday drivers stand at the fuel island pump in $600+ while at the end of the week paycheck could be only $400 to which trucking companies and the gov’t could CARELESS. Okay Pilot will still make a profit at the pump, and then they will just increase the cost of candy, and that thing that looks like pizza! Like I said they least we can DEMAND is free internet for all!

  • Del Ray Johnson

    Does matter to me they are all the same, I judge a truck stop on 1 thing only CLEANLINESS we deserve that respect they the !@##$% would I want to use a dirty bathroom or shower, or get grease on my boots when I actually mop the floor in my cab once a week!

  • Robert Henry

    I hope in the end Jimmy H gets what he deserves. He claims he doesn’t know any of the details of what happened other than what he has read in the papers and been told by lawyers, but I say BS. He ripped off the drivers for years and the companies as well, and he finally got caught with his hand in the cookie jar, and $85M is a drop in the bucket for a company that is making probably that much off you guys and gals in just coffee each year. I am so glad with this kind of stuff going on, among other things, that I am out of the industry.

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