Cobell Lawsuit & Settlement

So far, a few beneficiaries have opted out of Cobell settlement

So far, only a handful of Indian beneficiaries have opted out of the $3.4 billion settlement to the Indian trust fund lawsuit, a top official said on Tuesday.

Ray Joseph, the acting head of the Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians, said 28 people have excluded themselves from the portion of the settlement that addresses trust mismanagement. He didn't have more detailed information about the opt-out rate but promised to provide it to the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.

"I think it's a very small percentage, based upon ... approximately 300,000 individual member accounts," Joseph told Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), the chairman of the committee.

Beneficiaries have until April 20 to opt out of the "Trust Administration Class" of the settlement. Those who do so will be able to file damages lawsuits in U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

Committee Hearing:
OVERSIGHT HEARING on the President's Fiscal Year 2012 Budget for Tribal Programs (March 15, 2011)

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