The balance of the milk-industry universe is once again restored.

Late last week, a federal judge gave the stamp of approval on a $158.6 million settlement in a long legal battle that had plagued the milk industry.

The case dates back to 2007 when about 7,000 dairy farmers in 14 states sued the Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), the milk industry’s marketing cooperative, claiming the organization conspired to fix the price of milk in the southeastern U.S. The parties reached the settlement agreement in January, but it had been awaiting court approval.

“The quality of the work done by class counsel has been exceptional, not only with respect to the pleadings filed but also the oral advocacy during oral argument on various motions,” U.S. District Judge J. Ronnie Greer wrote in his decision.

The settlement approval ends the half-decade long litigation, which was set to go to trial just after the agreement was announced earlier this year.

Read more about this case on Thomson Reuters.

For other InsideCounsel stories about this litigation, see:

Dairy co-op will pay $158.6 million in antitrust settlement

Flying the Co-op