A Burlington judge recently rejected a $50 million settlement proposed
by Northeast dairy farmers to resolve a dairy antitrust case from 2009.
Northeast dairy farmers filed a lawsuit against Dairy Farmers of America, Dairy Marketing Services, and Dean Foods
accusing the defendants of monopolizing the Northeast’s raw milk
market. In 2011, Dean Foods said it would pay $30 million.
The other two defendants each agreed to a $50 million settlement. Each
of the approximate 7,000 farmers who were plaintiffs in the suit would
have received $4,000, however, a federal judge ended up denying final
approval of the payout.
Some dairy farmers objected to the initial settlement offer, saying that
the money they would get back would barely be enough to pay for one tire
on their tractor. Some of the plaintiffs were so displeased with the results
thus far that they suggested retaining another law firm to handle their
case. If the matter cannot be resolved outside of court with a settlement,
it will have to go to trial.
Domina Law Group stands as a passionate advocate for farmers. We know the
issues they face and have helped countless dairy farmers and cattle herders
with their legal concerns, including antitrust issues. In fact, we spearheaded
efforts to hold one of America’s largest meat producer accountable
in an antitrust case, winning nearly $1.3 billion for representatives
of our nation’s cattle industry. Although the verdict was reversed
on appeal, we have fought aggressively for farmers’ rights ever since.