Keepseagle v. Perdue, No. 16-5189 (D.C. Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
In 2011, the district court approved a Settlement Agreement that created a $680 million compensation fund for the benefit of class members consisting of Native American farmers and ranchers who participated in a non-judicial, administrative claims process.
In this appeal, two class members challenged the district court's approval of an addendum to the Agreement. The DC Circuit affirmed the judgment of the district court, rejecting the claim that the modification clause requires Appellant Mandan's assent before the Agreement can be amended. The DC Circuit held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in finding that the addendum was fair, reasonable, and adequate; the court declined to reach the merits of Mandan's legal challenges to the cy-près provision because these claims were explicitly waived before the district court; the claims were also forfeited because Mandan never raised any legal challenges to the cy-près provision before the district court despite clear opportunities to do so; and there were no good reasons at this point in the litigation to entertain Mandan's legal challenges to the cy-près provisions in the first instance. Finally, the DC Circuit found no merit in Appellant Tingle's breach of fiduciary duty claims.