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Claims Administrator Angeion Group Announces Proposed Settlement in Legal Matter Concerning the Burley Tobacco Growers Cooperative Association and Certain Tobacco Growers in Kentucky, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, and Missouri

Angeion Group
·3-min read

PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 01, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Angeion Group today announced a partial settlement has been proposed in a legal matter concerning the Burley Tobacco Growers Cooperative Association (“the Co-op”) that would result in dissolving the Co-op and payments to certain tobacco growers in Kentucky, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, and Missouri. The payment is estimated to be $2000-$6000 for each eligible grower.

If you grew burley tobacco in any of the 2015–2020 crop years in Kentucky, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, or Missouri, you could get money from a proposed settlement.

What’s this about?
The partial settlement stems from a lawsuit against the Co-op in Lexington, Kentucky, seeking, in part, the dissolution of the Co-op because of its alleged lack of any continuing purpose. You may have heard that a special meeting was called for Co-op members to vote on the Co-op’s dissolution. That special meeting was postponed and, if the settlement is given final approval, will be canceled.

Who’s affected?
Any person or business that was 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 is a member of the settlement class. You should promptly check whether you are identified as a member of the settlement class by calling the number or visiting the website listed below. If you are not (but should be) identified as a settlement class member, there is a process to have your membership verified. You should complete the verification process by January 29, 2021. Information about how you verify membership is available through the number and website listed below.

What is the proposed settlement?
If this partial settlement is approved, the Co-op will be dissolved, and its assets will be liquidated, and debts paid. The net assets that will remain are estimated to be worth as much as $28 million. The Court will oversee the process. From the Co-op’s net assets, $1.5 million will be set aside to establish a farming related non-profit, costs relating to the administration of the settlement will be deducted, and a service award to representatives of the settlement class and attorney’s fees up to 25% of the net assets may be awarded by the Court. The assets that remain will then be paid out equally to members of the settlement class. If the partial settlement is approved, any claims you may have against the Co-op or its officers and directors will be released or limited. Details about the partial settlement and the release or limitation of claims are available by calling the number or visiting the website listed below.

How do you get a money payment?
After verifying your membership in the settlement class, submit a W-9 (tax i.d.) form as soon as possible, and no later than January 29, 2021. More information about getting a payment is available by calling the number or visiting the website listed below.

What are your options?
You must verify that you are a member and submit a W-9 to receive a payment. If you are a member of the settlement class and the partial settlement is approved by the Court, you will be bound by its terms even if you do not receive a payment. The Court will hold a hearing in this case — Haynes Properties, LLC, et al. v. Burley Tobacco Growers Cooperative Association, No. 20-CI-332, Fayette Circuit Court — on February 24, 2021, to consider whether to approve the partial settlement and award attorneys’ fees and other expenses. You have the right to object to the partial settlement and may attend, with or without an attorney, at the hearing, but you are not required to attend in order to potentially share in the money paid out.

For more information, call toll free 1-855-965-5569, go to www.BTGCASettlement.com, or write to 1650 Arch Street, Suite 2210, Philadelphia, PA 19103.

CONTACT: Media Contact: Angeion Group Douglas S. Clauson Director, Communications (215) 563-4116