Class Counsel predicts any day now for completion of adjudication of all claims! HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!
On February 14, 2013, Judge Friedman signed another order in the black farmers discrimination case.
This one modifies the final judgment…
Judge Friedman signed an order regarding the Plaintiffs’ Motion for Further Modification of Final Order and Judgment which adds a new paragraph 30 to the judgment:
“Notwithstanding the May 11, 2012 Claim deadline established by the Court in Docket No. 233 of the Consolidated Case, an individual who submitted a Claim Form preprinted with his or her name, which was summarily rejected by the Claims Administrator as ineligible because it was not filed on behalf of a Class Member, but who had submitted to the Pigford Facilitator prior to June 18, 2008 a “late-filing request” which specifically named a different individual, shall be entitled to submit a revised Claim Form on behalf of that specifically named individual, which shall be deemed timely, if submitted with a postmark no matter (sic) than October 24, 2012.”
In all other respects the Judgment remains the same.
Why is the judgment being modified?
Apparently, prior to June 18, 2008, a group of 85 potential claimants sumbitted “late-filing requests” in Pigford I on behalf of someone else – usually a deceased family member. When the Claims Administrator in Pigford II sent Claim Forms to these 85 individuals, the individual’s name was pre-printed on the top of the form, rather than the actual claimant’s name.
These 85 individuals were confused into believing that because the Claim Form had their own preprinted name on it, they should fill out the information in the Claim Form related to themselves, rather than related to the individuals for which they had submitted the “late-filing requests” in Pigford I.
Because of the mismatch of names and information, when the Claims Administrator received the Claim Form that contained information about a different individual than the “late-filing request,” the Claims Administrator rejected the claim outright.
Class Counsel blames the Claims Administrator for sending out Claim Forms with preprinted names that did not match up with the “late-filing requests” and asks the Court to allow the 85 individuals to re-submit a claim up to October 24, 2012.
The Claims Administrator was the same for Pigford I and Pigford II and the situation was caused by “data recording inconsistencies.”
Class Counsel asserts that such an amendment to the judgment will in no way delay or affect the timing of the distribution of settlement checks.
Apparently, they informed the 85 individuals of the situation last year and encouraged them to resubmit their Claim Forms by October 24, 2012 in case the Court allowed the extension.
56 individuals did resubmit claim forms which should not cause delay in processing by the neutrals.
Of special note is Class Counsel’s statement in its motion that “It is currently anticipated that the Neutrals will complete the process of adjudicating all of these claims by the middle of February 2013.”