Judge Rules Oklahoma Tribe Has Standing To Seek Recovery Of Funds

Saturday, September 8th 2007, 6:51 pm
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ An Oklahoma tribe will be allowed to sue over issued related to the 1998 tobacco settlement.

A federal judge in Tulsa says the Seneca-Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma has proper legal standing to ask for the $4 million it's paid into an escrow account.

The ruling reverses an earlier ruling that dismissed the lawsuit on technical grounds. It says the previous ruling doesn't address the tribe's argument that it's entitled to the money under the theory of sovereign immunity.

The Seneca-Cayuga claims its tobacco company has been driven to the verge of bankruptcy because it doesn't have access to the money held in escrow.

Tobacco companies that don't participate in the 1998 agreement are required to make payments into an escrow account.