A federal judge is considering whether to approve a settlement that would require dairy processor Dean Foods to pay Northeast farmers and their attorneys $30 million to settle antitrust allegations in a class-action lawsuit.
A hearing was held yesterday to determine whether the settlement is "fair, reasonable and adequate." U.S. District Court Judge Christina Reiss will take what the attorneys and a farmer said at the hearing under advisement.
The settlement stems from a lawsuit that accused Dean Foods; the cooperate Dairy Farmers of America; and the cooperative’s marketing arm, Dairy Marketing Services, of working together to monopolize the market for raw milk in the Northeast, resulting in lower prices paid to dairy farmers.
Dean does not admit any wrongdoing.