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Express Grain settlement hits snag

Tuesday, April 12, 2022, 5:03 pm News Flash Archive

The 9019 motion to implement a settlement in the issue of who owns or has an interest in the grain in the Express Grain bankruptcy, was supposed to be filed yesterday at the latest.

But at a status conference held this afternoon, the court was informed that some of the farmers who had signed on to the settlement have withdrawn their agreement. The attorneys working on the settlement stated that these withdrawals were communicated by the Barrett Law Firm in Lexington, as well as by at least one attorney representing one of the farmers individually.

To see our previous reporting on the possible settlement agreement, read here: Settlement discussed in afternoon status conference in Express Grain bankruptcy case

Barrett is suing UMB Bank on behalf of farmers who claim UMB Bank conspired with EG to shanghai the farmers' grain that had been delivered but was never paid for, so that UMB Bank could recover the $70 million that EG owes the bank. To see our previous coverage of this lawsuit, read here: Farmers double down in class action suit against UMB Bank in Express Grain failure

The Barrett lawsuit was widely seen as a possible problem with reaching a settlement, as it pits the farmers against UMB Bank, collectively the two largest creditors and contenders for grain rights in the bankruptcy case.

UMB Bank and other warehouse receipt holders took the position that once anyone agreed to the settlement, that agreement could not be withdrawn, but now there is a conflict between the attorneys representing the farmers in the bankruptcy case, versus the attorneys representing the farmers in Barrett's lawsuit against UMB Bank.

Because of this new conflict, the attorneys representing the farmers will not be listed as "movants" of the 9019 motion. In fact, mention was made that this conflict might require the attorneys representing the farmers in the bankruptcy case to withdraw from the case. At that point, the farmers would have to retain new counsel, which would need additional time to get up to speed on the issues of the case.

Bankruptcy Court Judge Selene Maddox expressed disappointment that all the progress that has been made might be lost, and said she had not expected this situation to occur.

In the end, the court agreed that the 9019 motion to implement the settlement should be filed today, so that the scheduled hearing on that motion can still take place on April 25. The timing for the upcoming 557 Final Determination Trial, where those farmers who do not agree to the settlement proposal will try their claims against all the other creditors over the grain ownership and interests, will be put off until at least early June.

 


To read all our coverage of the Express Grain bankruptcy case, see here: Index of Express Grain articles

 

John Pittman Hey
The Taxpayers Channel

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