More law­suits ahead

Austin American-Statesman - - WORLD & NATION -

The black farm­ers’ set­tle­ment is the sec­ond round of dam­ages stem­ming from a class-ac­tion law­suit the govern­ment orig­i­nally set­tled in 1999. The new money is in­tended for peo­ple who were de­nied ear­lier pay­ments be­cause they missed dead­lines for fil­ing. In­di­vid­ual pay­ments will de­pend on how many claims are suc­cess­fully filed.

The Agri­cul­ture Depart­ment also faces fur­ther law­suits from His­panic and In­dian farm­ers.

In the In­dian landown­ers’ case, the plain­tiffs say they were cheated out of roy­al­ties over­seen by the In­te­rior Depart­ment since 1887 for things like oil, gas, graz­ing and tim­ber. The set­tle­ment, 14 years in the mak­ing, needs the ap­proval of Congress.

Boyd said the farm­ers he works with don’t care about the machi­na­tions of Congress. All they see is a dys­func­tional body that can’t get a broadly sup­ported goal ac­com­plished, he said.

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