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: October 23, 2023

Recent changes include updates about:

This website has been redesigned to focus on information about distributions and other steps following the Court’s approval (with modifications) of the dissolution settlement in July 2021.


10/23/23: Fund distribution; objectors’ claim

In the fourth week of October 2023, distribution checks of $453.89 each are to go out to qualifying Class members who presented on-time, valid elections for this payment (see list by Notice I.D. ). These checks are separate from the third and final distribution to be made of the Co-op’s net dissolution proceeds, which is now expected to occur sometime in 2024. Immediately cash the check; do not delay. Checks that have not been cashed within 90 days after the date of issuance will be voided, and the $453.89 will no longer be available to you.

An appeal by objectors to have fees paid out of the special Fund to their attorneys — H.W. Graddy & Associates — caused significant delay for this distribution. 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. They said they would file a bond, but when a bond was finally presented, the Court found that it was deficient. At the end of September, the objectors declared that:

  • they would not file a bond that met the minimum standards set by the Court; and
  • 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 of the 1881 electing Class members is in accordance with the Court’s Order in the event that no bond was presented for the objectors’ appeal. 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 electing to participate in this Fund distribution. That includes objector-appellants who are among the 1881 electing Class members. See 6/26/23 update below and FAQ #10 for more information about the appeal.

9/30/23: Co-op finishes its dissolution process

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.

Final tax returns will be filed for the Co-op and a report the law requires for an agricultural co-op’s dissolution will be prepared. Once these steps are taken, then a final distribution to the 2603 qualified Class members can be calculated and arranged. It is anticipated that the final distribution will take place in 2024.

8/4/23: Fund distribution ordered; effect of objectors’ appeal

The deadline for emailing, faxing, or postmarking a return postcard with an individual Class member’s election about amounts remaining in a $1.5 million fund (“the Fund”) passed on May 31, 2021. Class Counsel reported on the postcard process and that 1881 qualifying Class members presented on-time, valid elections to be paid a proportionate share of the remaining Fund; see list by Notice I.D. of Class members to be paid. The Court has 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 1881 electing Class members. The plan was to make the Fund distributions in the latter half of August 2023. However, there has been an appeal by some Class members over the Court’s turning down their attorney’s request to be awarded a fee; see 6/26/23 update below and FAQ #10 for more information about the appeal. This appeal and related disputes may have the effect of delaying all or part of the distribution and may end up reducing the amount(s) to be distributed. It is hoped at this time that most or all of the ordered $453.89 individual share will be issued to electing Class members in the second or third week of September 2023.

Please check this website for updates about the distribution to be made.

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 attorney Hank Graddy of the H. W. Graddy & Associates law firm. (All other objectors represented themselves.) That law firm and its lawyers requested that they be awarded an attorney fee of up to 7.5% of the $1.325 million remaining of the Fund (or $99,375). The Court denied the request, and on June 26, 2023, the law firm’s six clients took an appeal 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.