NC court: Are 800K tobacco growers too many for 1 case?


Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — North Carolina’s Supreme Court is considering the question of how many people across five states should have a stake in the $340 million reserve held by a much-shrunken tobacco marketing cooperative.

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The court on Monday heard from attorneys about the fight over money built up over decades by the Flue-Cured Tobacco Cooperative Stabilization Corp.

The justices are deciding whether it’s possible to sort out claims involving 800,000 past and present tobacco farmers or their heirs across North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, and Virginia.

An attorney representing the coop’s managers says the justices should place some kind of limit on the size and scope of class-action lawsuits, the kind which allow many people with a shared interest in a dispute to sue as a group.

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