The deadline for some Northeast dairy farmers to make financial claims in an antitrust lawsuit settlement with Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) has been extended.
The $50 million settlement resolves claims against DFA and its marketing arm, Dairy Marketing Services (DMS), in a lawsuit (Allen v. Dairy Farmers of America, Inc., No. 5:09-CV-230) alleging they engaged in anticompetitive conduct within Federal Milk Marketing Order 1. DFA has not admitted any wrongdoing in the settlement, and the court must still approval the final settlement.
Following a hearing in late January, Judge Christina Reiss, of the U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont, extended the claim deadline to May 30.
The 2009 class-action lawsuit charged DFA and Dallas-based Dean Foods with working together to monopolize the market for raw milk in the Northeast. Dean Foods agreed to a $30 million settlement in 2011.
After deducting attorneys" fees, plus costs, expenses and incentive fees for the dairy farmers who brought the lawsuit, the net settlement fund will be distributed to dairy farmers who file valid claims. Individual shares will depend on the amount of raw Grade A milk produced in and pooled on Order 1 from Jan. 1, 2002 to Dec. 31, 2014. If 8,000 dairy farmers file a valid claim, the average payment per farmer is estimated to be $4,000.
For more information, visit www.NortheastDairyClass.com, or call 1-855-460-1533, or write to Northeast Dairy Farmer Settlement, c/o Rust Consulting, Inc., PO Box 2958, Faribault, MN 55021-2958.