Judge Rules for Farmers in Lawsuit Against Tobacco Co-op

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A court ruling could mean a 130 (M) million-dollar windfall for members of the Burley Tobacco Growers Cooperative Association.

A group of tobacco farmers filed suit in December 2003 in Lexington concerning 63 million pounds of tobacco. They claim the tobacco given by Congress to the association in the 2004 tobacco buyout legislation was the property of members.

The co-op argued that the grant was made to the association, and its directors could continue as they saw fit.

Fayette Circuit Judge Pamela Goodwine ruled that Congress intended the tobacco to go to farmers.

Instead, The Courier-Journal of Louisville reports, the Burley Tobacco Growers Cooperative Association sold it.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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