Lewis, et al. v. Flue-Cured Tobacco Cooperative Stabilization Corp.,
Case Nos. 05 CVS 188, 05 CVS 1938
In a class action, one or more people called "Class Representatives" sue on behalf of people who have similar claims. These people are a "Class" or "Class Members." The Class Representatives who sued—and all the Class Members like them—are called the "Plaintiffs". The company that the Class Representatives sued is called the "Defendant".
One court resolves all the claims and issues for all Class Members, except for those Class Members who may choose to exclude themselves from this Class lawsuit.
You received notice because the Court has decided that this matter should proceed as a class action lawsuit and to inform you of your rights and options as a member of the Class.Back To Top
The Defendant in this lawsuit is the Flue-Cured Tobacco Cooperative Stabilization Corporation (referred to in this website as "Stabilization" and now known as the United States Tobacco Cooperative, Inc.).Back To Top
The Class Representatives, on behalf of all members of the Class, set out their claims in a Third Amended and Consolidated Complaint filed in the North Carolina General Court of Justice, Superior Court Division, on July 9, 2012 (the "Complaint"). Plaintiffs allege in the Complaint that Stabilization accumulated hundreds of millions of dollars from a few specific sources over the course of several decades and improperly accounted for and withheld those funds from Class Members. Plaintiffs are seeking, among other things, money damages, partial distribution of Plaintiffs' assets held by Stabilization, and a declaratory judgment that Plaintiffs retain all accompanying rights, privileges, and benefits of membership.
Stabilization denies all claims made against it.Back To Top
Do not be alarmed. You have not been sued. Notice was provided to you to tell you about this class action lawsuit, to alert you to the fact that you have been identified as a member of the Class, and to inform you of your rights and options as a member of the Class.
Notice was sent to you based upon information and records that indicate that you were a member and/or shareholder of Stabilization, or are a proper representative of a member and/or shareholder, at any time from Stabilization's inception through the end of crop year 2004.
If you did not receive notice, you may view a copy of the Notice here.Back To Top
By the Order dated February 7, 2014, the North Carolina General Court of Justice, Superior Court Division certified and defined the Class in this case as follows:
All individuals, proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, or their heirs, representatives, executors or assigns, and other proper entities that have been members/shareholders of Stabilization at any time from its inception through the end of crop year 2004, and any heirs, representatives, executors, successors or assigns, and;
As part of its certification order, the court designed the following individuals and entities as the Representatives for the Class in this case: Dan Lewis and Daniel H. Lewis Farms, Inc., George Abbot, Robert C. Boyette and Boyette Farms, Inc., Kyle A. Cox, C. Monroe Enzor, Jr., Executor of the Estate of Crawford Monroe Enzor, Sr., Archie Hill, Kendall Hill, Whitney E. King, Cray Milligan, Richard Renegar, Linwood Scott, Jr. and Scott Farms, Inc., Orville Wiggins, Alford James Worley, Executor of the Estate of Dennis Anderson, Chandler Worley, and Harold Wright.Back To Top
The following attorneys are the Co-Lead Class Counsel, C. Alan Runyan and William Robert Cherry, Jr., and the following attorneys are all the Counsel for the Class:
|C. Alan Runyan
A.G. Solomons, III
SPEIGHTS & RUNYAN
2015 Boundary Street
Beaufort, SC 29902
|Philip R. Isley
BLANCHARD, MILLER, LEWIS & ISLEY, PA
1117 Hillsborough Street
Raleigh, NC 27603
|Dennis T. Worley
Paul J. Ekster
WRIGHT, WORLEY, POPE, EKSTER & MOSS
P.O. Box 457
Tabor City, NC 28463
|Lonnie Boyd Williams
William Robert Cherry, Jr.
MARSHALL, WILLIAMS & GORHAM
14 South Street
P.O. Drawer 2088
Wilmington, NC 28402
|James L. Ward, Jr.
MCGOWAN, HOOD & FELDER, LLC
321 Wingo Way
Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
|Terry E. Richardson, Jr.
Robert S. Wood
RICHARDSON, PATRICK, WESTBROOK & BRICKMAN, LLC
1037 Chuck Dawley Blvd., Bldg. A
Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
|Charles H. Williams
WILLIAMS AND WILLIAMS
P.O. Box 1084
Orangeburg, SC 29116-1084
You have a choice. You can remain a member of the Class, or you have the right to exclude yourself from the Class. You may also enter an appearance in this case, or you may seek to intervene directly in this lawsuit through your own independently-retained attorney at your own expense. Each of these choices has consequences that you should understand before deciding.
If you wish to remain a member of the Class, YOU DO NOT NEED TO DO ANYTHING NOW.
If you wish to remain a member of the Class and have your rights decided in this lawsuit, you do not need to do anything.
If you do not do anything, and you choose to remain a member of the Class:
If you do not want to be a member of the Class, you may request the Court to exclude you from the Class. Your request to be excluded from the Class must contain the following information:
No request for exclusion can be made on behalf of a group of Class Members or through an agent or attorney. You must mail your request for exclusion to the following Co-Lead Class Counsel:
C. Alan Runyan
Speights & Runyan
2015 Boundary Street
Beaufort, SC 29902
To be effective, your request to be excluded from the Class must be completed, signed, and postmarked on or before October 26, 2017. The Court will exclude you from the Class if your proper request for exclusion is postmarked by this date.
If you elect to be excluded from the Class:
If you do not file a timely written request for exclusion, you have the right to enter an appearance through your own attorney, retained at your own expense. A Class Member who enters an appearance through their own attorney is not deemed as having intervened or as having sought to intervene in this lawsuit and will still be represented by Class Counsel.
If you wish to enter an appearance, your attorney must file a Notice of Appearance with the Clerk of Court, serve a copy of the Notice of Appearance to Class Counsel (whose addresses are listed in FAQ 7) and Counsel for Defendant Stabilization, no later than October 26, 2017 using the following addresses:
|Clerk of Court||Counsel for Defendant Stabilization|
|NORTH CAROLINA GENERAL COURT OF JUSTICE
SUPERIOR COURT DIVISION
316 Fayetteville St. Mall
Raleigh, NC 27601
|Derek L. Shaffer
QUINN EMMANUEL URQUHART & SULLIVAN, LLP
777 6th Street NW, 11th Floor
Washington, DC 20001
Lee M. Whitman
WYRICK ROBBINS YATES & PONTON LLP
4101 Lake Boone Trail
Raleigh, NC 27607
If you do not file a timely written request for exclusion, you may also move to intervene in this lawsuit through your own attorney, retained at your own expense. Any motion to intervene must comply with the North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure and applicable law and be filed no later than October 26, 2017 with the Clerk of Court, whose address is set forth in FAQ 10.
You must also serve a copy of your motion to intervene, according to the North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure, on Class Counsel and Counsel for Defendant Stabilization using the addresses set forth above.Back To Top
If you do not elect to exclude yourself from the Class (or seek to intervene in this case through your own independently-retained attorney), you will be represented by Class Counsel. You will not be charged for this representation, and there is no out-of-pocket cost to any member of the Class, regardless of the outcome. Class Counsel have agreed to handle this case on a "contingent" basis and to advance all attorneys' fees, litigation expenses, and costs on behalf of the Plaintiffs and the Class.
If this lawsuit is successful, Class Counsel will ask the Court to award them reasonable attorneys' fees for their work, as well as an award of their litigation expenses and costs. The Court may order Stabilization to pay such fees, costs, and expenses directly, or the Court may award such fees, costs, and expenses from any recovery for the Plaintiffs and the Class. In either instance, the Court will determine whether attorneys' fees, litigation costs, and expenses will be awarded and, if so, what the amount of the attorneys' fees, litigation costs, and expenses will be.Back To Top
If the address that you used when you were a member of Stabilization has changed, or is expected to change in the future, or if you received a Notice concerning this lawsuit directly in the mail at an address other than the address listed on the envelope, you should provide your new address and your email address to Co-Lead Class Counsel (identified in FAQ 7).Back To Top
Further proceedings in this case will be conducted before the North Carolina General Court of Justice, Superior Court Division. These proceedings may include the determination of motions for summary judgment, pretrial proceedings, trial, approval of any proposed settlement, and other aspects of this case. The Court has not yet scheduled a trial date in this matter.Back To Top
This website only summarizes this lawsuit. More details are in the Complaint, Stabilization's Answer to the Complaint, and the Court's Amended Order on Motion for Class Certification. You can review these documents here. If you have any questions and would like to hear more information in the form of recorded answers to frequently asked questions, you can call 1-844-309-9755. You can also contact Class Counsel by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The pleadings and other records in this case may be reviewed and copied in the office of the Clerk of Court, North Carolina General Court of Justice, Superior Court Division, 316 Fayetteville St. Mall, Raleigh, NC 27601. You may also request copies of pleadings and other records from Class Counsel.
Please do NOT call the Judge, Clerk of Court, or the Court about the Notice or this lawsuit. They will not be able to give you advice or answer your questions.Back To Top