Additional Lawsuits in Pilot Flying J Case

Trucking firm says Haslam trying to short circuit class actions

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Two new class-action lawsuits have been filed in federal courts in Alabama and Arkansas against Pilot Flying J, both citing an affidavit from an FBI agent justifying the highly publicized April 15 raid on the travel-center chain’s Knoxville headquarters, according to a report in The Tennessean.

In Arkansas, a lawsuit was filed by National Trucking Financial Reclamation Services citing the evidence in the 120-page FBI affidavit that Pilot reduced promised rebates to some of it customers who received monthly rebate checks, according to the report.

“The defendants actions were willful, wanton, malicious and in total disregard for the rights of the plaintiff,” the complaint states, charging Pilot with fraud, deceptive sales practices and unjust enrichment.

The second lawsuit was filed Thursday in federal court in Alabama by W.T.W. Enterprises and its owner Charles E. Winborn, another Pilot customer. The 11-page complaint charges that the rebate skimming scheme cost trucking firms in excess of $5 million, according to the report. The lawsuit charges breach of contract and violations of Tennessee’s consumer protection act.

On Thursday, attorneys for a Georgia trucking firm charged that Pilot Flying J CEO Jimmy Haslam is trying to short circuit a class-action lawsuit it had filed and asked a Knoxville judge to order the travel-center executive to cease contacting trucking firms that may be victims of the rebate skimming scheme.

In a six-page motion filed in Knox County Circuit Court, lawyers for Atlantic Coast Carriers charged that Haslam’s recent contact with the trucking executives “may constitute an improper attempt to coerce parties and witnesses under Tennessee law,” the report states.