Tobacco growers have filed a lawsuit seeking class action status in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia. The class claims up to $600 million has not been allocated to tobacco growers from the $10.14 billion tobacco buyout settlement. The original statute required that growers be paid $3 per pound based on the 2002 effective quota. However, the secretary of agriculture applied a formula that included 2003 and 2004 crops years. Growers were given $1 per pound of their quota for 2002, 2003 and 2004 instead of paying them $3 for their 2002 quota as Congress intended. The lawsuit claims the U.S. Department of Agriculture applied a different formula from the original one set by the Congress.
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