June 9, 2022 – File a Claim: Official Website for $21M Fairlife Milk Products Settlement Is Live
The proposed class action detailed on this page and several others have settled for $21 million, and the official settlement website can be found here.
The deal, which received preliminary approval from U.S. District Judge Robert M. Dow, Jr. on April 27, 2022, covers consumers and businesses in the United States who bought for personal use and not for resale any of the Fair Oaks or fairlife milk products listed on this page on or before April 27, 2022.
To submit a claim online, head to this page, scroll down and click the “Start Your Claim” button. From there, fill out the form with your information and follow the prompts. Valid claims must be submitted online or by mail by December 27, 2022.
Those who are covered by the settlement and submit valid claims can receive 25 percent of the average retail purchase price for the covered products, up to $100. Claims submitted without valid proof of purchase—store receipts, milk bottles or other records—will be capped at a $20 cash award, and claims submitted with valid proof of purchase will be capped at an $80 cash award. Claims submitted with and without valid proof of purchase are capped at $100.
The final amount of money an eligible consumer might receive through the settlement depends on the number of claims submitted.
Keep in mind money will only be distributed if and when the deal receives final approval, a hearing for which is set for September 28, 2022, and after any appeals have been resolved in favor of the settlement.
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Chicago-based Fairlife, LLC has been hit with a proposed class action filed by two consumers who say the company has fraudulently advertised and profited from the claim that its milk products are derived from cows that are treated with the highest degrees of care. In truth, cows at Fairlife’s flagship Fair Oaks Farm in Indiana are routinely abused and mistreated, the 21-page complaint alleges.
“As a result, Fairlife has unfairly profited from its customers on the expectation that it treats its cows not just humanely, but in ease and comfort,” the case states.
The lawsuit says that in early June, non-profit Animal Recovery Mission posted an expose online thatdetailed instances of animal cruelty[warning: there are images of animals on the other side of that link that some may consider to be graphic]at the defendant’s farm. The Florida-based animal rights group, via the work of an operative who went undercover as an employee at Fair Oaks Farms, said to have observed Fairlife employees “throwing, slapping, and kicking calves” and captured video of the conduct, the complaint says. According to the lawsuit, Animal Recovery Mission “further witnessed young calves being starved to death, beaten with steel bars, and burned with branding irons,” as well as grown cows too old to produce milk that were “shot and left to die,” which the lawsuit says sometimes took several hours.
Fairlife claims across its products and website that cows at Fair Oaks Farm are treated with “the utmost care” and with “extraordinary care and comfort,” the suit continues, marketing that the plaintiffs attest is a core part of Fairlife’s identity. Consumers rely on Fairlife’s representations of how it treats its animals, and are willing to pay a premium price “for goods and foodstuffs that are grown in humane, sustainable ways,” the complaint reads.
“Fairlife’s products, as demonstrated, are sold at as much as a 100% markup over its competitors,” according to the lawsuit. “A measurable part of that cost reflects the expectation that Fairlife’s products will come from humanely-treated cows.”
In the days after Animal Recovery Mission’s expose made headlines, Fair Oaks Farms has admitted that the incidents detailed in the report did actually occur, the lawsuit says, with Fair Oaks’ owner taking full responsibility for the reported conduct. An individual who worked at Fair Oaks Farms and was alleged to have abused animals at the facilitywas arrested on June 12, according to a report from theNorthwest Indiana Times, and two others also alleged to have abused animals are being sought by police. According to a statement on its website, Fairlife has discontinued use of milk produced at Fair Oaks Farms, and has reportedly begun auditing its 30 supply farms.