UPDATE 2: More than 30,000 Class Members of the Cobell v. Salazar Indian trust class action settlement are still awaiting payments. Class Counsel explains why.
More than 400,000 Native Americans from numerous tribal groups received an early Christmas present last week when the federal government began mailing them $1,000 checks under the landmark $3.4 billion Cobell v. Salazar class action lawsuit settlement.
The Cobell v. Salazar settlement was one of the largest class actions ever filed against the United States, and accused the government of mismanaging money owed to Native Americans under trust funds. The alleged mismanagement dated as far back as the 1880s.
The Indian trust class action settlement was originally settled in December 2009 and later approved by Congress in November 2010. An appeal was filed and the case was held up in court for nearly two years. In May 2012, an appeals court rejected the appeal and upheld the $3.4 billion Indian trust settlement as fair, reasonable and adequate.
On December 12, 2012, the court filed an order directing the Claims Administrator to commence distribution of payments to Class Members no later than December 24, 2012. However, there are thousands of eligible Class Members that have still not filed claims.
According to the Claims Administrator, nearly 40,000 Historical Accounting Class Members are shown as “whereabouts unknown,” and another 10,000 have no contact information in the records furnished by Interior. If you are a member of the Historical Accounting Class and are not currently receiving statements on your IIM account from the government, then you need to provide contact information to the Claims Administrator by calling 1-800-961-6109 or entering the information at www.IndianTrust.com.
In addition, the court has entered a final deadline for submission of claims for the Indian trust class action lawsuit settlement. Any claim forms must be postmarked by March 1, 2013. Claim Forms and more information on the Cobell v. Salazar Indian Trust Class Action Lawsuit Settlement can be found online at www.IndianTrust.com.
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