- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 9, 2014

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A federal panel has consolidated seven lawsuits against Pilot Flying J, the truck stop company owned by the family of Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam. The suits claims Pilot cheated trucking companies out of promised rebates and discounts.

Knoxville-based Pilot already paid $85 million to 5,500 customers in a November class-action settlement of similar claims.

Attorneys for the seven companies with federal suits pending against Pilot had argued against consolidation, saying there were too few suits to make it necessary.

But the federal Panel of Multidistrict Litigation ruled Monday to consolidate in Kentucky’s eastern district, headquarted in Lexington. The panel noted that another 50 companies opted out of the settlement and could still sue.

A federal investigation of the nation’s largest diesel retailer is ongoing.

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