Federal Judge Preliminarily Approves $7.5 Million Settlement in Organic Milk Consumer Protection Class-Action Lawsuit

Don DowningA federal judge has preliminarily approved a $7.5 million settlement in a consumer protection class-action lawsuit filed against Aurora Dairy Corp., based in Boulder, Colo., and several large U.S. retailers. The lawsuit, filed on behalf of consumers in 30 states, alleged that Aurora and the retailers made false and misleading claims in marketing the organic milk and milk products.

The plaintiffs contended that Aurora, doing business as Aurora Organic Dairy, and the retailer defendants sold organic milk and milk products through deceptive advertising and packaging that misrepresented the manner in which Aurora treated the dairy cows that produced the organic milk and milk products.

According to the settlement, all U.S. consumers who have purchased one or more units of Aurora's organic milk products prior to September 14, 2012 are entitled to a payment up to $10. They do not need documentation of the purchase to receive this one-time payment. Consumers are eligible to receive additional compensation – up to $30 – depending on how many units they purchased and if they have documentation of their purchases.

Gray Ritter Graham attorney Don Downing was a co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs. "We're pleased with the settlement as it provides fair compensation for consumers, based on the cost of the products, and it brings a satisfactory result for consumers much faster than if we would have gone to trial."

The organic milk products covered under this settlement include, but are not limited to:

  • Aurora Dairy's "High Meadow" brand
  • Costco's "Kirkland" brand
  • Safeway's "O Organics" and "Safeway Select" brands
  • Target's "Archer Farms" brand
  • Wal-Mart's "Great Value" brand
  • Wild Oats' "Wild Oats" brand

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