McDermott Deals Knockout Blow to Dairy Antitrust Claims


CHICAGO (June 30, 2015) – McDermott Will & Emery achieved complete dismissal of all remaining claims against Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. in indirect purchaser class actions encompassing every purchase by a retail consumer of milk or cheese in states nationwide (including California, Florida and New York). This is the third in a string of victories by McDermott in the long-standing case, with billions of dollars at issue.

On June 29, 2015, in an 86-page opinion that largely adopted McDermott’s arguments, Judge Robert M. Dow, Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois dismissed each state law claim remaining in the case on multiple grounds, including:

  • Remoteness and lack of standing or causation
  • State statutes of limitations and inapplicability of class action tolling
  • The filed rate doctrine’s bar of all damages claims

This win follows an earlier dismissal in a separate opinion by Judge Dow of all the indirect purchasers’ federal claims and most of their state law claims for lack of constitutional or antitrust standing, and dismissal by the prior judge assigned to the case of the bulk of the related direct purchasers’ damages claims, after which McDermott settled the remaining, diminished direct purchaser claims. McDermott received Benchmark Litigation’s award as “Antitrust Law Firm of the Year—Midwest” in recognition of that victory.

Joel Chefitz, Amanda Metts, and David Hanselman led a team defending DFA throughout the direct and indirect purchaser cases. The briefing team included Karne Newburn and Chelsea Black.

About McDermott

McDermott Will & Emery is a premier international law firm with a diversified business practice. Numbering more than 1,000 lawyers, we have offices in Boston, Brussels, Chicago, Dallas, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Miami, Milan, Munich, New York, Orange County, Paris, Rome, Seoul, Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C. Further extending our reach into Asia, we have a strategic alliance with MWE China Law Offices in Shanghai.