Burley Tobacco Growers Cooperative Association Class-Action Lawsuit Settlement: An Initial and Partial Distribution Has Been Made to a 2nd Group – A Statement from Class Counsel on Distribution and Dissolution
The Court has directed that a portion of the settlement class is to be sent an initial and partial distribution of net proceeds from the Co-op’s dissolution.
Second Distribution Group – February 25, 2022
More than 600 settlement class members were issued and mailed a distribution check of up to $5670 each on February 25, 2022. Some of those being sent a distribution in this group owed the Co-op TAGS fees, and those fees were subtracted from the amount sent to each such person (individual or business entity).
- You can check the list of those in the 2nd group here. (For those who were issued checks in this 2nd group; a (T) by a Notice I.D. means that TAGS fees were subtracted for that person.)
First Distribution Group – December 15, 2021
Almost 1800 settlement class members were issued and mailed a distribution check of up to $5670 each on December 15, 2021.
- You can check the list of those in the 1st group here.
- Those in the 1st group are not being issued a check at this time; this 2nd group is simply being caught up to those in the 1st group.
Additional Mailings and Notices
- Please be on the lookout for a notice or “contact us” mailing from Class Counsel (McBrayer).
- Mailings are being made to other applicants who are trying to participate in the settlement distribution; these mailings are requesting further documents or clarification of the circumstances presented by that particular applicant.
- Notices are also being mailed to those for whom there has been a final determination that the person will not share in the settlement distribution proceeds from the dissolution of the Co-op, with instructions about how to object to the Court about that determination.
- At this point, it is too late to apply for eligible settlement class membership, and any further documents should be sent only at the specific request of the Class Counsel or the Settlement Administrator.
Further Potential Distributions
- It is anticipated that over the next few months a 3rd group — smaller than the first two — will be sent checks of up to $5670 for their initial and partial distribution of proceeds.
- The Co-op’s collection and liquidation of its assets and satisfaction of its obligations and debts continues through the work of a Dissolution Committee authorized by the Court. Only when the dissolution is complete will there be a final distribution to eligible settlement class members.
Please see the Important Documents page on this website for up to date orders from the Court relating to the settlement.
If you grew burley tobacco in the 2015–2020 crop years in Kentucky, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, or Missouri, you could get money from a proposed settlement.
Pursuant to the Courts Order, entered April 19, 2021, all documentation postmarked or received on or before April 5, 2021 shall be considered timely filed. The Court has also set forth additional exceptions for individuals/entities, including the ability for any individual or entity to establish good cause for their failure to timely submit the necessary documentation. Please see the Order Granting Motion for Ruling on Additional Time for Class Members located in the Important Documents section of this website.
- The Burley Tobacco Growers Cooperative Association (“the Co-op”) is the subject of a lawsuit over duties owed to Co-op members and a claimed lack of any continuing purpose for the Co-op.
- A partial settlement has been reached that would result in dissolving the Co-op and paying between $2000 and $6000 each (estimated) to certain tobacco growers in Kentucky, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, or Missouri that are members of a settlement class certified by the Court.
- The settlement class is made up of those individuals or businesses that were a landowner, operator, landlord, tenant, or sharecropper growing burley tobacco in Kentucky, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, or Missouri during at least one of the 2015–2020 crop years.
- To be confirmed as a member of the settlement class and potentially receive a payment — from a pool of Co-op assets that could be as large as $28 million — you must have taken certain actions detailed in the notice.
- If the settlement is approved by the Court, your legal rights will be affected whether you took action or do not take action. Read the notice carefully.
YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS AND OPTIONS IN THIS SETTLEMENT
Check settlement class membership here
Confirm Class Membership and Send in W-9 Tax Form
|The only way to get money is to confirm settlement class membership and provide a W-9 form. The deadline to confirm and submit was by January 29, 2021.|
|Establish that you are a settlement class member (if you aren’t already identified as one). The deadline for your steps to determine membership was January 29, 2021.|
|Get no money and be bound by the terms of the settlement.|
- These rights and options—and the deadlines to exercise them—are explained in the notice.