The class action lawsuit settlement between Dairy Farmers of America (DFA)’s national marketing branch, Dairy Marketing Services (DMS), and thousands of northeastern dairy farmers is moving forward – with DFA agreeing to pay $50 million in damages to be divided among the farmers.
The long-running lawsuit accuses the dairy cooperative of trying to drive down milk prices by colluding to monopolize the market for raw milk in the Northeast.
Surprisingly, this is almost the same settlement that a federal judge rejected back in March, on the grounds that the average payout per dairy farm of $4,000 was inadequate and that the attorneys would be the primary beneficiaries of this agreement if their fees and costs were approved.
After some additional negotiating, the settlement was slightly amended but the settlement amount remained the same (the Associated Press article covering this story offers no explanation as to why). Despite the plaintiff’s attorney making a statement about the settlement being fair and reasonable, some of the class representatives remain in opposition to the deal.
“We remain opposed to it. It’s fundamentally the same settlement that the judge correctly recognized…that the primary beneficiaries were counsel,” said dairy farmer Jonathan Haar (Associated Press).
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