If you live in one of 15 states and you buy milk, you could be entitled to some cash back. USA Today reports that some people who bought dairy products since 2003 are due refunds as part of a $52 million settlement spun out of the alleged mass slaughter of 500,000 cows. The class-action lawsuit filed in 2011 charged that Cooperatives Working Together paid its members—dairy farmers who produce 70% of the nation's milk—inflated prices for their dairy cows, which were then prematurely killed, reports Bloomberg. The alleged goal was to reduce the supply and bump up prices. A University of Missouri professor tells USA Today the 2003-2010 "herd retirement program" did just that, cutting our milk supply by some 1.2 billion gallons while doubling the price of raw milk.
A lawyer for the plaintiffs called the program a "classic price-fixing scheme"; the milk producers denied the charges but said they settled to avoid expensive litigation. Milk products included in the deal are cream, yogurt, cottage cheese, half and half, cream cheese and sour cream. The states involved are Arizona, California, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin, plus DC. Refunds will vary according to how many people apply, per Time. The deadline to apply is Jan. 31. See www.boughtmilk.com, which as of this writing projects individuals can get up to $20. (In other milk news, the FDA says camel milk is no miracle cure.)