Judge approves $50M settlement to Northeast dairy farmers
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — A federal judge in Vermont has approved a $50 million settlement to be paid by a national dairy marketing cooperative to thousands of Northeast dairy farmers.
Dairy Farmers of America will pay an average of $4,000 to about 9,000 farmers to settle a lawsuit that accused the marketing group of trying to drive down milk prices. The judge approved the deal Tuesday.
The 2009 class-action lawsuit charged Dairy Farmers of America; its marketing arm, Dairy Marketing Services; and Dallas-based Dean Foods with working together to monopolize the market for raw milk in the Northeast.
Dean Foods agreed to a separate $30 million settlement in 2011. It covered farmers in Delaware, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and the District of Columbia.