Stueve Siegel Hanson LLP, Cullenberg & Tensen PLLC, and Perrone Law PLLC have achieved a final approval for a historic settlement of approximately $122 million against a manufacturer of allegedly defective milking robots, specifically the Lely A4. This settlement follows last year’s $55 million settlement with DeLaval Holding AB, DeLaval International AB, DeLaval Inc., and West Agro, Inc.
The settlement, which was granted final approval by the court on September 1, 2023, provides class members with the option to replace their existing Lely A4 robot with the newer A5 model or to receive cash relief. Nearly all of the approximately 400 class members chose to participate in the settlement, and the relief selected is worth approximately $121,956,000.
The court described the settlement as an “excellent result” that provides “outstanding relief.” It also highlighted the overwhelming and unprecedented support from the class, with nearly 100 percent participation in the claims process. This participation rate far exceeds the average claims rate.
Firm partner Patrick Stueve emphasized the significance of this settlement for farmers who purchased the Lely A4, calling it another historic nationwide class settlement that will provide extraordinary financial and operational relief.
The terms of the settlement were agreed upon after nearly three years of litigation. Class members had the option to choose between two separate benefits. They could receive a share from a cash fund established by Lely, with individual payout amounts varying based on the number of robots purchased. They would also receive an additional cash payment of $1,000 per A4 and the choice between a four-year Extended Warranty or an additional $7,000 cash per A4 Robot. Alternatively, they could trade in their A4 for Lely’s newer A5 model for a reduced payment of $40,000.
Based on the claims submitted and options chosen, the cash fund is approximately $51 million, while those opting for trade-ins will receive approximately $71 million in value for trading in their A4 robots for new A5 models.
In addition to this settlement, litigation is ongoing regarding the DeLaval V300 milking robot. A new lawsuit has been filed 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 VMS V300 robot suffers from the same or similar defects as the original robot covered under the prior settlement. This case is currently pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota.
Overall, these settlements provide significant relief for farmers who have experienced issues with their milking robots and demonstrate the dedication of Stueve Siegel Hanson LLP, Cullenberg & Tensen PLLC, and Perrone Law PLLC in advocating for the rights and interests of farmers in the agricultural industry.
Source: Stueve Siegel Hanson LLP