Local & Regional
9:17 am
Sat May 29, 2010

Lawsuit Extension

Washington, D.C. – Parties agree to extension in Indian lawsuit

WASHINGTON (AP) A lead plaintiff for Indian landowners involved in a class-action lawsuit against the government says participants have agreed to extend the deadline for resolving the case until June 15.

Lack of movement on Capitol Hill appeared to place the $3.4 billion settlement in jeopardy. But the House approved it on Friday as part of a package of tax cuts and benefit extensions.

Elousie Cobell, of the Blackfeet Tribe, said the extension gives the Senate an opportunity to do the same after its Memorial Day recess.

Cobell announced the agreement Friday the day a federal judge previously had set as the deadline for congressional action.

Plaintiffs say the government breached its responsibility to manage assets belonging to American Indians. The settlement would result in recovery payments for more than 300,000 Indians.