Dairy agrees to pay $7.5 million settlement
Settling the lawsuit was a purely financial decision for the Boulder-based dairy, said Sonja Tuitele, a company spokeswoman. The lawsuit has been a "distraction for our company and our retail customers ... and we wanted to get it behind us," Tuitele said. The settlement agreement is subject to approval by the court, she said.
Aurora did not admit wrongdoing in the settlement, and its milk has been certified as organic by U.S. Department of Agriculture-accredited agents since 2004, the company said in a press statement. The company sells organic milk to grocery store chains, which sell it as their store-brand milk.
Two St. Louis-area mothers filed the lawsuit in 2007, claiming that the dairy used unfair and deceptive practices to sell non-organic milk at organic prices. The lawsuit also claimed that the company's milk did not live up to U.S. Department of Agriculture organic standards.
The original claims in the lawsuit were dismissed in 2010, Tuitele said. The settlement amount covers fees for up to 60 plaintiff lawyers, she said. The company also will continue for three years to follow certain existing farming practices at its Platteville dairy, according to the press statement.
"If we continued litigation, it would have been more expensive," Tuitele said.
In all, the company employs about 400 people, with a milk processing plant in Platteville and dairy farms in Colorado and Texas. Aurora Organic Dairy was founded in 1973 and has been organic since 2004, the company has said.
More breaking news...
Electrom moves from Loveland to Longmont
Longmont's sales-tax revenue up 2.1%
Electrom makes motor surge test equipment.
Its new home is at
Collections in April, representing sales in March, were $4,287,696, compared with $4,199,864 for the