On February 8, 2016, U.S. District Judge Christina Reiss had preliminarily approved the $50 million settlement, which would result in an average recovery of $4,000 per dairy farm. On June 7, 2016, the district court issued an Opinion and Order granting final approval to the Second Amended Settlement Agreement.
On July 21, 2017 the Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the final approval of the $50 million settlement between Dairy Farmers of America Inc. and Dairy Marketing Services LLC and two subclasses of farmers alleging a conspiracy to fix the price of raw milk, allocate markets and agree not to solicit dairy farmers to supply raw milk.
This lawsuit was filed in October 2009 alleging a mixed vertical and horizontal conspiracy among a dairy cooperative (Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. or “DFA”), a dairy marketing association (Dairy Marketing Services, LLC or “DMS”), and two prominent fluid milk processors, Dean Foods Company, Inc. and HP Hood, LLC . Plaintiffs were dairy farmers suing on behalf of all dairy farmers whose farms were physically located within the geographic territory defined as Federal Milk Marketing Order One, and selling milk to processing plants within that area. The crux of their allegation was that DFA and. DMS were conspiring with Dean and Hood to suppress the prices farmers residing inside Order One received for their raw milk, and to monopsonize an alleged market for the sale of raw milk.
In December 2010, Plaintiffs reached a settlement with Dean for $30 million plus an injunction relating to Dean’s procurement of milk. Plaintiffs later sought and obtained the certification of two separately-represented subclasses in November 2012. Cohen Milstein served as lead counsel for one of two certified subclasses of Northeast dairy farmers.
On June 11, 2015, the court issued an Order granting in part and denying in part DFA’s and DMS’s motion for summary judgment.
The case is styled: Allen et al v. Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. et al, Case No. 5:09-cv-00230, U.S. District Court, District of Vermont.