Cobell Settlement: Law Firm trying to locate members of the Navajo Nation
David Smith and Bill Dorris of the law firm of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, class counsel in the Cobell v. Jewell (formerly Cobell v. Salazar) lawsuit, are seeking to locate members of the Navajo Nation entitled to participate in the settlement of that lawsuit.
The Cobell case was filed in 1996, settled in December 2009, was approved by Congress in December 2010, and received final court approval in November 2012. The total settlement, $3.4 billion, is currently the largest class action settlement against the federal government.
The case resolves certain claims relating to mismanagement of individual Indian money (“IIM”) accounts and individual trust assets by the federal government. There are approximately 500,000 individuals who are eligible to participate in this settlement.
This includes principally individuals who had IIM accounts between approximately 1985 and September 30, 2009 and individuals who owned trust or restricted land as of September 30, 2009. 34,786 members of the Navajo Nation will receive payments under the settlement for a total estimated award of $49,485,431.
The Department of Interior provided the Claims Administrator, The Garden City Group, Inc. (“GCG”), the information it had regarding individuals who may be entitled to participate in the Cobell settlement. However, that information was not always current or complete.
In particular, the Interior’s Contact Information has over 100,000 individuals who may be entitled to a payment under the settlement but for whom they have no contact or current information.
This includes 4,195 members of the Navajo Nation who are entitled to total estimated payments of over $5.3 million. Class Counsel wants to make sure that everyone who is entitled to participate in the settlement has the opportunity to do so.
The following is a list of names of potential Cobell Class Members who are members of the Navajo Nation and for whom there are no addresses or current information in the Department of Interior’s records.
We encourage anyone who sees his or her name, or the name of a friend or family member, on this list to call the Garden City Group at (866) 591-2958