Judge orders Pilot Flying J to respond to lawsuit

Judge orders Pilot Flying J to respond to lawsuit

Posted:
Attorneys for Pilot Flying J had argued for a motion to stay, meaning they wanted the Knox County-based lawsuit to be put on hold until a fairness hearing in November. Attorneys for Pilot Flying J had argued for a motion to stay, meaning they wanted the Knox County-based lawsuit to be put on hold until a fairness hearing in November.
Attorneys for the plaintiffs also asked for a motion to compel evidence. They're looking to depose several top executives for Pilot Flying J including CEO Jimmy Haslam. Attorneys for the plaintiffs also asked for a motion to compel evidence. They're looking to depose several top executives for Pilot Flying J including CEO Jimmy Haslam.
Judge Harold Wimberly also ruled that a motion to compel evidence will be decided during a conference among attorneys and the judge in early September. Judge Harold Wimberly also ruled that a motion to compel evidence will be decided during a conference among attorneys and the judge in early September.
"There are some important aspects of this case which are going to have bearings on what this court does and all the other courts do," Pilot Flying J attorney Albert Harb said. "There are some important aspects of this case which are going to have bearings on what this court does and all the other courts do," Pilot Flying J attorney Albert Harb said.

By SAMANTHA MANNING
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A Knox County Circuit Court judge ruled that Pilot Flying J must respond to a proposed class-action lawsuit filed by five trucking companies by Aug. 30.

That deadline was set after Pilot Flying J failed to meet Thursday's original deadline.

Judge Harold Wimberly also ruled that a motion to compel evidence will be decided during a conference among attorneys and the judge in early September.

Attorneys for Pilot Flying J had argued for a motion to stay, meaning they wanted the Knox County-based lawsuit to be put on hold until a fairness hearing in November. The hearing is set to determine the outcome of the class action settlement with eight other trucking companies, which was given preliminary approval in Arkansas.

"There are some important aspects of this case which are going to have bearings on what this court does and all the other courts do," Pilot Flying J attorney Albert Harb said.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs also asked for a motion to compel evidence. They're looking to depose several top executives for Pilot Flying J including CEO Jimmy Haslam.

"We want to nail down Pilot Flying J about the extent of their culpability, the depth and breadth of their knowledge when they were victimizing our clients and others," attorney for the plaintiffs' Mark Tate said.

Harb argued the depositions could be prejudicial in a criminal proceeding but the plaintiff's attorneys argued they need access to that evidence in order to make their case.

"We have to go and rebuild this case," Tate said. "We have to take the depositions. We have to get the documents and we have to be prepared to put on our case at trial with evidence that's admissible in this court."

September's conference will determine whether Pilot Flying J will have to turn over evidence in this case and whether any Pilot Flying J employees will be deposed.

A spokeswoman for Pilot Flying J released this statement in response to the judge's ruling: "The judge heard arguments today and took discovery under advisement. We look forward to filing answers to the complaints and visiting with the judge again in early September."

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