Not Everything is Settled in the Allen v. Dairy Farmers of America Antitrust Class Action – The Fight Over Allocating Fees to Class Counsel

For those of us practicing antitrust law in the Sixth Circuit, we are familiar with the case In re: Southeastern Milk Antitrust Litigation, 739 F.3d 262 (6th Cir. 2014).  But there was also a northeastern component to the claimed antitrust violations asserted against Dairy Farmers of America (“DFA”).  In that antitrust action, Allen v. Dairy Farmers of America, Inc., E.D. Vermont No. 5:09-cv-00230, after nine long years of litigation and contentious settlement negotiations, a settlement agreement  was approved by the District Court in 2016, affirmed by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in 2017, denied certiorari by the U.S. Supreme Court in January 2018, and was finally implemented in August, 2018, with thousands of dairy farmers receiving pro rata payments of a net $50 million settlement fund.  However, while the class plaintiffs’ fight may be over with the DFA, another fight has arisen among some of the class plaintiffs’ counsel…

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