As expected, Pilot Flying J has attempted to prevent a lawyer from taking the deposition of Browns owner Jimmy Haslam in one of the many civil lawsuits arising from allegations of customer rebate fraud.
According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Pilot Flying J filed a motion to block the deposition on Friday in Knox County Circuit Court.
The depositions in the case filed by Atlantic Coast Carriers were scheduled to happen this week.
Pilot Flying J argues that the deposition should not happen before the company responds in writing to the civil complaint, and that the settlement of a nationwide class action pending in Arkansas has received tentative approval. Of course, if Atlantic Coast Carriers chooses to opt out of the settlement, their lawsuit will proceed.
It’s safe to say that Atlantic Coast Carriers will choose to opt out.
“This settlement is more advantageous to Mr. Haslam and the plaintiffs’ lawyers who agreed to it then the actual victims of Mr. Haslam’s apparent fraud,” attorney Mark Tate, who represents Atlantic Coast Carriers, told the Plain Dealer.
Ideally, Pilot Flying J will attempt to delay the depositions until after Haslam knows whether he’ll face criminal charges. Otherwise, he’ll have to decide between giving testimony that could be used against him in a criminal trial and invoking the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, which in a civil suit can be used against him.