Robotic Milker Litigation: Second Class Settlement Secured for U.S. Dairy Farmers
Final Approval Granted of $122M Settlement for Lely A4 Farmers
Following last year’s $55M settlement with DeLaval Holding AB, DeLaval International AB, DeLaval Inc., and West Agro, Inc., Stueve Siegel Hanson LLP, Cullenberg & Tensen PLLC, and Perrone Law PLLC have achieved another historic settlement against a manufacturer of allegedly defective milking robots.
On September 1, 2023, the Court granted final approval of the settlement for the Lely A4. The settlement provided class members with the option to replace their existing robot with Lely’s newer A5 model or to receive cash relief. Nearly all of the approximately 400 class members participated and the relief selected is worth approximately $121,956,000.
In approving the settlement, the Court called it an “excellent result,” noting that it provides “outstanding relief” and received “overwhelming,” “unprecedented” support from the class: “Participation in the claims process was unprecedented with nearly 100 percent participation, which far exceeds the average claims rate.”
Achieving this result on the heels of the DeLaval settlement last year, firm partner Patrick Stueve said:
“This is another historic nationwide class settlement that will provide extraordinary financial and operational relief to farmers who purchased the Lely A4.”
The terms of the settlement were agreed upon after nearly three years of litigation. During the claims process, class members had the option to choose between two separate benefits:
- A share from a cash fund established by Lely, with individual payout amounts varying based on the number of robots purchased, as well as an additional cash payment of $1,000 per A4 and the choice between a four-year Extended Warranty or additional $7,000 cash per A4 Robot; or
- The option to trade-in their A4 for Lely’s newer A5 for a substantially reduced payment of $40,000.
Based on the claims submitted and options chosen, the cash fund is approximately $51M and those opting for trade ins will receive approximately $71M in value for trading in their A4s for new A5s.
The Fight Continues on behalf of Farmers Using The DeLaval V300
On May 9, 2022, Steve Siegel Hanson LLP, Cullenberg & Tensen PLLC, and Perrone Law PLLC filed a new lawsuit against DeLaval Holding AB, DeLaval Holding BV, DeLaval International AB, DeLaval Inc., and West Agro, Inc., as well as Tetra Laval International SA, alleging that their new milking robot, the VMS V300, suffers from the same or similar defects as the original robot covered under the prior settlement.
The case is currently pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota. More information is available on their website at https://litigation.stuevesiegel.com/RoboticMilkerFailure.