Expansion of farmer lawsuit sought
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NOVEMBER 1, 2000

Some 700 Indian farmers who have filed a discrimination lawsuit against the United States Department of Agriculture asked a federal judge on Tuesday to expand the lawsuit to a class-action one representing tens of thousands of other farmers.

A class-action lawsuit would make it easier for all farmers to obtain a potential settlement. But a Justice Department lawyer, representing the USDA, said each claim should be tried separately because each case is different.

All farmers might not be able to bring a case on their own, however. Alexander Pires, the lawyer who represented African-Americans in their successful suit, testified in September that the Indian case could grow to include as many as 40- to 50,000 farmers.

The case is before the US District Court for the District of Columbia.

Get the Story:
Native American Farmers Seek Class Action in Suit Against USDA (The Washington Post 11/1)

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Farmers file $19B discrimination suit (Tribal Law 04/27)

Relevant Links:
Native American Farmers Class Action Lawsuit
The United States Department of Agriculture -
The Farm Service Agency, USDA -
Civil Rights, USDA -
Guide to USDA Programs for American Indians and Alaska Natives -