MONTPELIER, Vt. – A judge has rejected a proposed settlement between Northeastern U.S. farmers and the Dairy Farmers of America over an alleged effort to drive down prices paid to farmers.
U.S. District Judge Christina Reiss opposed the $50 million settlement after some farmers said the payments would be insufficient and the settlement would not address the alleged wrongdoing.
Reiss said, however, that the court couldn't find the amount was "on its face" inadequate or unreasonable.
The March 31 ruling came in a 2009 class-action lawsuit that accused the cooperative, its marketing arm and Dallas-based Dean Foods with trying to monopolize the market for raw milk in the Northeast.
The settlement would have provided about $4,000 each to more than 7,000 dairy farmers.
Officials with the Dairy Farmers of America said Thursday they were disappointed with the judge's decision. Dean Foods agreed to a separate $30 million settlement in 2011.