Southeast Milk Antitrust Litigation Website
The trial date has been rescheduled. The new trial date is November 6, 2012.    

This website provides general information on a dairy farmer class action involving raw milk sales in the Southeast

What Is the Case About?

This lawsuit claims that Defendants and alleged Co-Conspirators violated federal antitrust laws and as a result prices paid to dairy farmers in Federal Milk Market Orders 5 and 7 (“Southeast”) were lower than they otherwise would have been. Defendants deny that they did anything wrong.

  • Current Defendants: Dean Foods Co., National Dairy Holdings LP, Dairy Farmers of America, Inc., Dairy Marketing Services, LLC, Mid-Am Capital LLC, Southern Marketing Agency, Inc., James Baird, Gary Hanman, and Gerald Bos.
  • Current Co-Conspirators: Dairy.Com, Inc., The Kroger Co., Prairie Farms Dairy, Inc., Robert W. Allen, Jay Bryant, Herman Brubaker, Gregg L. Engles, Michael J. McCloskey, Allen A. Meyer, and Pete Schenkel.

Who Is in the Class?

In general, all dairy farmers, whether individuals, entities, or members of cooperatives, who produced raw Grade A milk in Order 5 or in Order 7 and sold that milk directly or through an agent to Defendants or alleged co-conspirators at any time from January 1, 2001 through the present are members of the Class.

The Class has two parts: a “DFA Settlement Subclass” and an “Independent Subclass” defined below:

  • Independent Dairy Farmer and Independent Cooperative Member Subclass (“Independent Subclass”) - All independent dairy farmers and independent cooperative members (whether individuals or entities) who produced Grade A milk within Orders 5 or 7 and sold Grade A milk directly or through an agent to Defendants or Co-Conspirators in Orders 5 or 7 during any time from January 1, 2001 to the present. The terms “independent dairy farmer” and “independent cooperative member” refer to Southeast dairy farmers who were not members of DFA at the time of their Grade A milk sales.

  • DFA Member Dairy Farmer Subclass (“DFA Settlement Subclass”) - All DFA members (whether individuals or entities) who produced Grade A milk within Orders 5 or 7 and sold Grade A milk directly or through an agent to Defendants or Co-Conspirators in Orders 5 or 7 during any time from January 1, 2001 to the present. The term “DFA member dairy farmer” refers to Southeast dairy farmers who were members of DFA at the time of their Grade A milk sales.

Are there any settlements?

A $140 million settlement with Dean has been reached. Also, a settlement for $5 million plus certain structural changes has been reached with SMA and Baird. The litigation is continuing against the other Defendants: National Dairy Holdings LP (“NDH”), Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. (“DFA”), Dairy Marketing Services, LLC (“DMS”), Mid-Am Capital, LLC (“Mid-Am”), and Gary Hanman. These settlements will provide payments to dairy farmers who submitted valid claim forms and you may be eligible. More details are available in the Notice dated February 14, 2012.

Will there be a trial?

The trial is scheduled to begin on November 6, 2012 in Greeneville, Tennessee against Defendants that do not settle before trial.

Who represents the Class?

The Court appointed the following law firms as Class Counsel to represent the Class:

Independent Subclass
Robert G. Abrams
BAKER & HOSTETLER LLP
1050 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036
(202) 861-1500
DFA Subclass
Gary E. Brewer
BREWER & TERRY, P.C.
1702 W. Andrew Johnson Hwy.
Morristown, TN 37814
(423) 587-2730

What are your Options?

Stay in the Class: If you are a Member of the Class currently certified, you do not have to do anything to stay in the Class.

Get out of the DFA Litigation Subclass: If you are a Member of the DFA Litigation Subclass certified on June 1, 2012, you have another opportunity to exclude yourself from the Class – sometimes referred to as “opting out.” If you exclude yourself, you will not receive any benefit that may be obtained as a result of this lawsuit. If you exclude yourself, you will not be bound by any Court orders or jury verdicts and you keep your right to sue Defendants on your own regarding the issues in this case.

To exclude yourself from the DFA Subclass: You must mail a letter, to the address below, that says you want to be excluded from the DFA Subclass, or fill out and mail the included Request for Exclusion (“Opt-Out”) Form. Include your name, the name of your farm, address, telephone number, and signature(s) of all farm owners. Your request to be excluded must be received by July 8, 2012:

SE Dairy Farm Class - Exclusions
c/o Rust Consulting, Inc.
P.O. Box 2392
Faribault, MN 55021-9092


More details are available in the Notification of Certification of DFA Subclass for Litigation Purposes dated June 8, 2012.

If you are a Member of the Independent Subclass, you cannot exclude yourself at this time. The deadline to get out of the Class was June 17, 2010.

IMPORTANT: THIS SITE IS NOT OPERATED BY FEDERAL MILK MARKET ORDERS 5 OR 7. THIS WEBSITE IS SUPERVISED BY CLASS COUNSEL. THE NOTICE ADMINISTRATOR HANDLES ALL ASPECTS OF NOTICING. THIS IS THE AUTHORIZED WEBSITE FOR THIS CLASS ACTION. PLEASE DO NOT RELY UPON OTHER SITES THAT SET OUT DIFFERENT AND UNAUTHORIZED INFORMATION.