Kentucky tobacco farmers file class action against purchaser for breach of contract

April 29, 2011 by

Several Kentucky farmers have filed a class-action lawsuit against a leading tobacco merchant they say failed to honor contracts to purchase burley tobacco from them at the end of the 2010 crop year.  The lawsuit, which was filed against Universal Leaf North America last week in Harrison Circuit Court, says hundreds of farmers have lost what amounts to millions.

Universal Corporation, which is based in Richmond, Va., is the world’s leading tobacco merchant and processor, the lawsuit said. Universal Corporation is the parent company of ULNA, which is based in Nashville, N.C., and registered to do business in Kentucky.

The complaint alleges that Universal Leaf unilaterally decided to forgo the inspection process and almost universally rejected the tobacco that it had contracted tobacco producers to deliver to the Cynthiana, Kentucky receiving station.

Steve Larson
An experienced trial lawyer who handles both hourly and contingent fee cases, Steve has expertise in class actions, consumer cases, antitrust litigation, securities litigation, corporate disputes, intellectual property disputes, unfair competition claims, employment matters, and disputes involving family wealth. Steve regularly represents individuals and businesses in federal and state court and has obtained class-wide recovery in multiple class actions. A veteran practitioner, Steve's clients value his creative approach to resolving complex litigation matters.

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