Haynes Properties, LLC, et al. v. Burley Tobacco Growers Cooperative Association

Case No. 20-CI-332

COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY, Fayette Circuit Court, Fourth Division

What’s New?

Latest update: April 5, 2024

Recent changes include updates about:

In addition to the Updates (below), this website focuses on information about distributions and other steps following the Court’s approval (with modifications) of the dissolution settlement in July 2021.


4/5/24: Final Dissolution Distribution

On April 5, 2024, or as soon thereafter as feasible for the Settlement Administrator, distribution checks of $546.00 will be mailed out to class members. Only those eligible for earlier distributions are being sent a check. This is the final distribution of the Co-op’s net dissolution proceeds to class members. A 1/24/24 Court Order provided for a final disposition of all remaining net dissolution proceeds; no objection was made to Class Counsel’s 3/1/24 Report of determinations made relating to the final dissolution distribution (including of the $546.00 final share).

Cash the check immediately. Checks that have not been cashed within 90 days after the date of issuance will be voided, and the $546.00 will no longer be available to you.

4/5/24: Special Fund distribution; objectors’ claim

In the fourth week of October 2023, distribution checks of $453.89 each went out to qualifying Class members who presented on-time, valid elections for this payment (see list by Notice ID).

Checks that are still outstanding from this distribution now will be voided, and the $453.89 will no longer be available to you.

An appeal has been taken by objectors to have fees paid out of the special Fund to their attorneys — H.W. Graddy & Associates. Objectors had the option of filing a bond to have the claimed fees withheld from the Fund amount distributed to class members at this point but did not, declaring that if they won the appeal, they might seek to recover awarded fees against the Class itself.

Going ahead with the full distribution of $453.89 to each electing class member was in accordance with the Court’s Order about the circumstances presented. BE AWARE that if the nearly $100,000 fee requested by the Graddy law firm were awarded, this would work out to nearly $43 per class member who elected to participate in this special Fund distribution. The appeal is ongoing; a decision by the Court of Appeals may be issued in 2024 or in 2025. See 6/26/23 update below and FAQ #10 for more information about the appeal.

9/30/23: Co-op ceases business and ownership

By the end of September 2023, all business of the Co-op had ceased and it no longer held any funds or other assets. The net proceeds from its dissolution — beyond the first two distributions to Class members — were out of the Co-op’s hands and being held by others in escrow, subject to the Court’s orders or review about their payment or disposition. Money has also been set aside for any further expense in completing the Co-op’s dissolution or for representing it in this case.

8/4/23: Fund distribution ordered

The Court ordered that the Fund be disbursed completely and as soon as feasible, including distribution by the Settlement Administrator of $453.89 to each of the electing Class members. An appeal over the Court’s turning down certain objectors’ attorneys’ request to be awarded a fee had the effect of reducing the amount distributed to electing Class members from the Fund by approximately $16 per member.

6/26/23: Appeal filed over denial of attorney-fee request

Among those objecting in early 2021 to the proposed settlement’s provision for a $1.5 million grant to a tobacco liaison/advocacy nonprofit, were six people represented by the H.W. Graddy & Associates law firm. That law firm asked for an attorney fee award of a percentage of the Fund. The Court denied the request, and on June 26, 2023, the law firm’s six clients appealed from that denial to the Kentucky Court of Appeals. Proceedings on other issues continue in the Fayette Circuit Court. For more details about the appeal, see FAQ #10.

5/5/23: Reminder about Address/Name Changes and Updating your W-9

Have you changed address or there’s been a problem cashing the check that you did receive? Contact a Class Counsel team member (classcounsel@mcbrayerfirm.com or 866-965-9005) to explain the issue.

It is important to update the W-9 if, for example, the class member passes away, changes marital status and last name, or moves from the address on the W-9 that was submitted. A new, updated W-9 (see FAQ) should be sent to Class Counsel with the class member’s Notice I.D. (if known) and former address/name at the top of the form.

11/9/22: 2nd Distribution to Eligible Class Members

Around 2600 settlement class members were issued and mailed a distribution check of up to $3930 each by the Settlement Administrator in the second week of November 2022.

Only those eligible for the first distribution were sent a check for the second distribution. It is anticipated that there will be another, final distribution when the Co-op’s dissolution is complete; this will be in late 2023 at the earliest. All the deadlines to apply for eligible class membership have passed; it is too late to qualify for a share in the Co-op’s dissolution.


Archives (storage pages) have been created for convenient reference to past important documents — Court Orders and other filings relating to definition and preliminary certification of the Settlement Class, the Court’s consideration of the proposed settlement and objections filed to the proposal, and procedural and other issues resolved by Court orders entered before July 1, 2022.

Links in the archived documents may have been disabled. For example, links for submission of documents or to check on class membership are inoperable. It is too late to apply for Settlement Class membership or establish eligibility to share in distributions.