February 09, 2016

A Vermont federal judge has signed off on a proposed $50 million settlement between Dairy Farmers of America Inc. and farmers alleging a milk price-fixing conspiracy after having twice rejected a prior version of the deal as unfair and inadequate.

U.S. District Judge Christina Reiss gave a preliminary green light to a deal that DFA and Dairy Marketing Services LLC struck with two subclasses of farmers, which will result in an average recovery of $4,000 per dairy farm, a number that remained unchanged from the previous deal that the judge rejected.

While the judge nixed a prior deal in part because it wouldn't satisfy some farmers who opposed it, she noted that the new version includes a provision for farmers to opt-out of the deal and pursue individual claims if they so choose.

“The [revised] settlement agreement between the [subclasses] and defendants Dairy Farmers of America and Dairy Marketing Services is preliminarily approved,” Judge Reiss said. “Final approval is subject to proper notice and a fairness hearing where any objections will be heard.”

The full article can be read here.