LOS ANGELES – California is one of fifteen states who are eligible for a share of a $52 million price-fixing dairy industry until January 31, 2017.
The antitrust lawsuit filed against large dairy producers, including the National Milk Producers Federation, Dairy Farmers of America, Land O’Lakes, Inc., Agri-Mark, Inc. and Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) in September 2011. The class action lawsuit was filed alleging that the dairy producers retired cows prematurely for approximately eight years in order to limit production of raw farm milk in order to decrease the competition and increase the price.
‘Compassion Over Killing’, a non-profit organization who promotes vegetarian eating and works to end animal abuse did much of the research used in the class action lawsuit. Cheryl Leahy, General Counsel for Compassion Over Killing said, in the September 2016 news release that the problem was not only the artificially inflated price, but the fact that approximately 500,000 cows were slaughtered in order to do so.
According to the class action complaint, the larger dairy producers then artificially inflated the price of fresh milk products including; cream, half & half, yogurt, cottage cheese, and sour cream. “The biggest dairy producers in the country, responsible for almost 70 percent of the nation’s milk, conspired together in a classic price-fixing scheme, forcing higher prices for a basic food item onto honest consumers and families,” said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman. “We’re pleased that this settlement will return some of what consumers lost due to this massive fraud perpetrated for ill-gotten gains.”
The settlement is available to those who purchased any of the eligible milk products while residing in Arizona, California, the District of Columbia, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, West Virginia or Wisconsin from 2003 to the present.
Affected consumers may choose to:
Submit a simple online claim form online or by mail by Jan. 31, 2017.
The simple online claim form usually takes only 3-5 minutes.
Claims may be submitted online at www.boughtmilk.com
or by mail to:
Fresh Milk Products Antitrust Litigation
PO Box 43430
Providence, RI 02940-3430,
Those who submit a claim may opt for cash, with no proof of purchase required. If final approval is granted to the settlement, class members who have filed valid and timely claims will receive cash payments distributed directly into an online account of their choosing, e.g., Amazon, PayPal or Google Wallet account.
There will be two different levels of fixed cash payments, based on class member’s purchases and the total number of class members making claims. Any remaining funds may be distributed in a second round using grocery loyalty cards to be automatically loaded with a fixed dollar amount, based on triggering purchases of milk or fresh milk products in the relevant states, or, depending on the funds remaining, distributed to the Attorneys General for the class jurisdictions for use in prosecuting consumer antitrust claims.
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