Black farmers notified about $1.25 billion settlement

    Black Farmers are finally getting a decision about a class action lawsuit filed in 1999.

    African-American farmers and their heirs received notification that the court-ordered process has begun concerning the $1.25 billion “Pigford II” class action settlement, in the Black Farmers Discrimination Litigation.

    Black farmers across the country tried to file a claim in the 1999 Pigford Settlement, but they didn’t receive a decision on merits because their claims were late. However, information about their legal rights and options under the settlement were mailed yesterday, June 6.

    Plaintiffs and the USDA announced the proposed settlement in late 2010. President Barack Obama also signed the bill authorizing payment through the settlement December 9, 2010.  

    If approved, the settlement would resolve discrimination claims related to USDA farm loans and other benefits. The $1.25 billion included in the settlement goes toward cash payments and loan forgiveness for class members who file valid claims.

    Class members should visit or call 1-877-810-8110 for more information, including the detailed notice, key dates, and claims-filing information.

    If class members do not take action, their rights could be affected by the settlement, which is up for objection until August 12. The deadline for filing claims under Settlement could be as early as February 28, 2012.

    The U.S District Court for Washington, D.C will grant final approval at a hearing September 1 at 9:30 a.m.


    — Tiara Kennedy




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