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Judge to hear $3.4B Indian settlement case


BILLINGS — A hearing is planned Monday on the fairness of a $3.4 billion settlement reached in a lawsuit that claimed the government mismanaged the accounts of hundreds of thousands of American Indian landowners.

The hearing in Washington, D.C., comes six months after lawmakers approved the settlement and a federal judge granted preliminary approval of the deal in December. The lead plaintiff in the 15-year-old class-action lawsuit is Elouise Cobell of Browning, Mont., a member of Montana's Blackfeet Tribe.

The lawsuit argues the Interior Department mishandled billions of dollars in roy...

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