Class Action Settlement Tied to Pre-Mature Slaughter of Dairy Cows

A recent antitrust class-action settlement involving a number of large corporate dairy producers reveals a troubling practice and presents an opportunity for any person who bought milk in one of sixteen states, including Arizona, at any point in the previous thirteen years to receive cash as a reimbursement for over inflated pricing.

The settlement funds are part of a recent class-action lawsuit that alleged a number of dairy co-ops colluded to attempt to reduce their herds’ overall size in order to unlawfully raise the overall prices of dairy products.

The defendants – National Milk Producers Federation, aka Cooperatives Working Together (CWT), Land O’Lakes, Inc., Dairy Farmers of America, Inc., Dairylea Cooperative Inc., and Agri-Mark, Inc. – settled the antitrust class action lawsuit while denying all wrongdoing, however, the antitrust lawsuit disturbingly alleges the defendants colluded to prematurely slaughter dairy cows in order to raise the overall retail prices of numerous dairy products. It’s hard to say which part of the suit’s allegations are more unethical, intentionally trying to price gouge the public or intentionally prematurely slaughtering animals for an extra buck. Either way, such industry wide collusion and highly questionable practices clearly calls into question the dependability and accountability of the industry as a whole and requires a vigilant public and government/industry watch dogs to prevent such future abusive practices from emerging in the name of corporate profits.

The settlement provides those who have purchased dairy products in Arizona, California, the District of Columbia, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, West Virginia, or Wisconsin eligibility to apply for a share of the fifty-two million dollar settlement fund.

Impacted dairy products include milk, butter, cottage cheese, and other fresh milk products; but in order to be eligible for reimbursement the buyer must have purchased indirectly from the defendants; in other words, purchased from a retailer like a grocery store. This eligibility requirement is designed to limit disbursement of the settlement funds to consumers and not allow retailer to claim and receive a windfall.

While the actual amount of money each impacted claimant will receive is dependent on how many individuals actually sign up to claim their reimbursement don’t expect to get rich through this settlement even if you purchased dairy products regularly during the class period. But, if you think you may be eligible for reimbursement, be aware that the deadline to submit a claim form is January 31, 2017.

If you believe you may qualify for reimbursement you can find more information and submit a claim at