Farmers Want Documents Unsealed In Antitrust Case

03/09/11 6:06AM

Attorneys representing some Northeast dairy farmers in an antitrust lawsuit against a dairy cooperative and its marketing affiliate say the cooperative is misleading dairy farmers about the merits of the case.

Under a proposed settlement announced in December, Dallas-based Dean Foods would pay $30 million to dairy farmers and change its milk-buying practices in the region for 30 months.

But a co-defendant in the civil suit-- the cooperative Dairy Farmers of America-- opposes the settlement, saying it favors one group of farms over another.

In court papers filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Vermont and obtained by the Associated Press, attorneys representing the dairy farmers asked a court to release sealed documents in the case and for permission to send notices to thousands of dairy farmers about the settlement.

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