SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - If you are a milk drinker, you could be eligible for a portion of a $52 million dollar settlement.
The case stems from an antitrust class-action lawsuit, filed in 2011 by Compassion Over Killing, an animal protection group that spearheaded the suit, involving 15 states, including California.
Major dairy producers in America are accused of slaughtering more than 500,000 cows to reduce milk supply and inflate prices.
"Don't they slaughter cows for all our other food and stuff, too?" asked Andrew Lee, a Santa Barbara resident. "So, once again, one of those dark secrets of the food industry."
Joby Nunez, a local, had similar feelings about the situation as Lee did.
"It does not sound anything different than from what I've heard in other areas," Nunez said. "So, this seems to be kind of a pattern."
Online documents at boughtmilk.com, the site linked to class counsel at Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, shows that yogurt, half and half and other dairy products are included in the suit.
People who purchased dairy products over the past 14-years could be eligible for as little as $10 dollars and possibly as much as $70 dollars. Entities, including schools, could be eligible for up to $560 dollars, if not more.
"We buy it because I have a grandson and my husband puts it on his cereal," said Susan Neufeldt of Santa Barbara.
In order to obtain a lawsuit refund, dairy customers need to fill out a form, online.
"Yeah, I'll fill out a form," said Nunez. "I don't have any problem with that at all."
"I'm lazy," said Larry Edwards, regarding the form. "No, I probably won't. But I hate hearing that kind of story. I mean, you know, the whole industry of animals ... what can we do with that?"
To apply for a refund, click on boughtmilk.com. Applications must be submitted by January 31 of this year.