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Seattle-Based Dairy Cooperative Being Sued


Darigold Sued for False Branding
   Politico reports that Seattle-based Darigold, one of the largest dairy producers in the country, is facing a class-action consumer lawsuit alleging that the company is engaging in deceptive business practices by implying in marketing documents that its products are made with “utmost care” for animal health and labor protections for employees.
   In the suit, Ruiz, et al., v. Darigold, Inc., filed May 5 in the U.S District Court for the Northern District of California, the plaintiffs claim “some of Darigold’s milk is produced under conditions where dairy cows are injured and sick, where, despite suffering from bloody and swollen udders, cows are still milked, and where workers are denied the most basic labor protections, such as drinkable water, lunch rooms, meal and rest periods, and an environment free of discrimination.”
In particular the suit takes aim at a 2010 Corporate Social Responsibility Report, which plaintiffs argue “misrepresents” the conditions in which many of its cows are kept. The suit seeks damages under the Consumer Legal Remedies Act and several state false advertising statutes.
   The complaint is available at: http://politico.pro/1g8TZqs
   Darigold stated in a Thursday press release that it had been named in a class action lawsuit alleging Darigold misrepresented labor and animal care conditions in its 2010 marketing and reporting materials.
   “After review of the claims we are confident that they are meritless and will fail in the course of litigation,” says General Counsel & Sr. Vice President, Corporate Affairs Steve Rowe. “The claims that our dairy producers do not adequately take care of their employees or animals is not only inaccurate, it is offensive to generations of our dairy farm families and the employees who care for the animals. We are proud of the over 500 family farms that work hard each and every day to produce high quality Darigold products that feed our local communities and the world. We stand behind the information contained in our Corporate Social Responsibility reports, which can be found at Darigold’s website at www.darigold.com at the bottom of the “About Us” section.