Northeast Dairy Farmers v. Dairy Farmers of America: Judge Rejects $50M Settlement

Northeast Dairy Farmers v. Dairy Farmers of America: Judge Rejects $50M Settlement

A Burlington judge recently rejected a $50 million settlement proposed by Northeast dairy farmers to resolve a dairy antitrust case from 2009.

In 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.