Class action another broken promise
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Thousands of African-American farmers who "settled" a class action with the Department of Agriculture are finding nothing has been settled.

Although the USDA admitted to a sketchy past, the farmers were still required to prove they faced some sort of discrimination. The department has challenged every case.

Still, about 13,000 were able to prove bias and got their old loans forgiven, $50,000 in government grants and priority on future loans. About 8,500, however, weren't able to meet the double proof requirement

For the 184 farmers who chose a second path, only 25 have been settled. The USDA has won 15 of them and is appealing all but one of the rest.

The law firm which settled the case -- and is now handling a similar one on behalf of Native American farmers -- has faced criticism by judges for missing deadlines and making other mistakes. Class members have asked lead attorney Alexander Pires to be fired for alleged incompetence.

About 80,000 farmers have filed for claims. The case was assigned a court monitor who gets thousands of angry calls, The Washington Post reports.

Get the Story:
A Long Road of Broken Promises for Black Farmers (The Washington Post 8/13)

Relevant Links:
Farmers Lawyer -

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