This case was last updated from U.S. District Courts on 08/03/2022 at 07:52:59 (UTC).

S.R.J.F., Inc. v. Dairy Farmers of America, Inc.

Case Summary

On July 29, 2022, S.R.J.F., Inc., (“Plaintiff”), individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, represented by Christopher J. McVeigh, Esq., and William B. Skiff, II, of McVeigh Skiff, filed an antitrust lawsuit against Dairy Farmers of America, Inc., (“DFA” or Defendant”), seeking injunctive relief and damages for an alleged violation of Sherman Act. This case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont with Judge Christina Reiss presiding. 

In the complaint, Plaintiff stated that “DFA is a dairy farmer cooperative. Its core function is to facilitate its farmer members' collective bargaining with the dairy processors that purchase their raw Grade A milk (‘raw milk’) for a competitive price.”

Plaintiff alleged that “DFA expanded into dairy processing, creating an inherent conflict of interest between its members' interest in receiving the highest price for their raw milk and its processor holdings' interests in buying raw milk at the lowest price.”

Plaintiff further alleged that “instead, it is DFA's member farmers that are running break-even (if they are lucky) and have been operating on razor-thin margins for years. Those who are less lucky have been borrowing against the equity in their farms to stay afloat or have gone under. And because of DFA's stranglehold on the Northeast dairy market, DFA's preference for high raw milk supply and low raw milk prices has become the market reality in the Northeast.”

Plaintiff additionally alleged that “moreover, a company poised on the edge of a market may exert competitive pressure on existing participants. Regardless of whether such a company actually intends to enter, the possibility that it may do so can spur other companies already in the market to proactively ramp up their own competitive efforts.”

Plaintiff also alleged that “indeed, from at least May 10, 2016, DFA attempted to or did monopsonize the market for raw Grade A milk in the Northeast.2 DFA did so by foreclosing Northeast dairy farmers' ability to market their milk independent of DFA, and even foreclosed farmers' ability to profitably market their milk through DFA.”

Plaintiff then alleged that “the unique characteristics of the raw milk market facilitated DFA's anticompetitive and predatory efforts to monopsonize the Northeast market for raw Grade A milk by foreclosing dairy farmers' ability to sell their milk through or to anyone other than DFA.”

Plaintiff also alleged that “most dairy farmers will go out of business within days or weeks if they cannot access a market for their raw milk. Moreover, due to persistent high barriers to entry, some inherent to the dairy industry but others created or exacerbated by DFA's conduct, these dairy farmers cannot seek to avoid DFA's impact on raw milk prices by joining or establishing a new entrant.”

Plaintiff presented two claims of relief alleging violations of the Sherman Act. 

In the prayer for relief, Plaintiff requested the action be determined a class action.  Plaintiff also requested damages and other relief.

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Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    2:22-CV-00147

  • Filing Date:

    07/29/2022

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Other - Antitrust

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

Christina Reiss

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

S.R.J.F., Inc.

Defendant

Dairy Farmers of America, Inc.

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorneys

Christopher J. McVeigh, Esq.

Attorney at McVeigh Skiff

30 Elmwood Avenue, P.O. Box 1112

Burlington, VT 05402-1112

William B. Skiff, II

Attorney at McVeigh Skiff

30 Elmwood Avenue, P.O. Box 1112

Burlington, VT 05402-1112

 

Court Documents

1 #1

Main Document

1 #1

Exhibit A

1 #2

Exhibit B

1 #3

Civil Cover Sheet

#2

(#2) Entry removed from the docket. (Entered: 08/02/2022)

#3

(#3) CORPORATE DISCLOSURE STATEMENT pursuant to Local Rule 7.1(a) by S.R.J.F., Inc. (McVeigh, Christopher) (Entered: 08/02/2022)

 

Docket Entries

  • 08/02/2022
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  • Docket(#4) NOTICE OF DOCKET ENTRY REMOVAL. Document #2 was filed in error and has been removed from the docket. See Doc. #3 for correct filing. (sjl) (Entered: 08/02/2022)

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  • 08/02/2022
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  • Docket(#3) CORPORATE DISCLOSURE STATEMENT pursuant to Local Rule 7.1(a) by S.R.J.F., Inc. (McVeigh, Christopher) (Entered: 08/02/2022)

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  • 08/02/2022
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  • Docket(#2) Entry removed from the docket. (Entered: 08/02/2022)

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  • 07/29/2022
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  • Docket(#1) CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT against Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. filed by S.R.J.F., Inc. Summons issued. (Attachments: #1 Exhibit A, #2 Exhibit B, #3 Civil Cover Sheet) (sjl) (Entered: 07/29/2022)

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