Washington, DC (PRWEB) March 27, 2013
The Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma (O-Gah-Pah) and its members filed a congressional reference lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims (Case No. 13-00051X) on Monday, March 25, 2013, seeking approximately $175 million in damages alleging breaches of legal and equitable trust obligations owed to the Tribe and its members by the federal government. The case has been brought as a class action on behalf of all similarly situated Quapaw Tribal members. The complaint alleges that breach-of-trust claims arise from the federal government’s failure to fulfill legal and trust obligations owing to the Quapaw.
In a rarely used procedure called a “congressional reference,” the U.S. House of Representatives authorized the filing of this lawsuit on December 19, 2012, when it approved H.Res. 668 the “Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma Congressional Reference Resolution.” That resolution referred the underlying bill (H.R. 5862) to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims for a report on the amount legally or equitably due to the Quapaw. Primary sponsor Tom Cole (R-OK), Congressman, U.S. House of Representatives, explained that he supported the resolution because “[d]espite a 10-year legal process during which the tribe fulfilled every step of its agreement with the government, the Justice Department failed to follow through, leaving this important issue unresolved.” The bill was co-sponsored by Representative Dan Boren (R-OK). Other supporters of the bill included Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA).
Quapaw Tribal Chairman John Berrey stated: “We appreciate the hard work of Representatives Tom Cole and Dan Boren in supporting the Quapaw and their effort to have our day in court. We look forward to reaching a fair and equitable conclusion to these claims, a result that is long overdue for the Quapaw Tribe.”
For a copy of the complaint, visit http://www.marzulla.com. Nancie G. Marzulla and Roger J. Marzulla, lead counsel for the Quapaw in this litigation, have decades of experience in representing plaintiffs in high-stakes, complex litigation in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, including class actions and congressional reference litigation. Please follow their U.S. Court of Federal Claims blog at http://www.marzulla.com and join their U.S. Court of Federal Claims and Federal Circuit Group on http://www.LinkedIn.com.