Thousands Of Farmers To Be Paid By Dairy America, CDI Settlement
DairyAmerica and California Dairies have agreed to settle a lawsuit for $40 million, according to Dairy & Food Market Analyst. The suit alleges that the organizations boosted profits by underreporting milk prices to the USDA National Statistics Service, intending to lower milk prices they were required to pay dairy farmers.
On August 13, both plaintiffs asked a California federal judge to approve the settlement which would resolve the litigation that has been going on since 2009. Over that time period the case has been consolidated, dismissed and revived. The $40 million settlement is equal to 80% of the alleged financial damages.
Class members eligible for the settlement include all U.S. dairy farmers who, between January 1, 2002 and April 30, 2007 sold raw milk priced according to Federal Milk Marketing Order guidelines.
“This settlement provides an excellent recovery for thousands of dairy farmers who were financially harmed when defendants misreported data to the federal government,” the lead counsel for plaintiffs told Law360.
Still, some say the settlement is unnecessary.
“DairyAmerica and CDI vigorously deny any claims of wrongdoing, and there has been no admission or court finding of liability for any claims,” says a representative for DairyAmerica and California Dairies.