Triple S Farms Inc, LLC filed a complaint on Monday in the Western District of Missouri against DeLaval Inc.,West Agro Inc. and Tetra Laval International SA, alleging that their robotic voluntary milking systems (VMS) that the plaintiff and numerous other farm companies bought to efficiently milk their cows was defective. The plaintiff claimed that the VMS products were not up to industry standards and were deceptively advertised as being improved and cutting-edge products.
As said in the complaint, DeLaval sold an upgraded version of their milking system, known as the V300, that was “purportedly designed to optimize quality milk yield by fully automating the milking process, so dairy producers can remove the manual or human tasks of milking typically required by a conventional milking system.” In order to properly use this product, the plaintiff said they had to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to “design, modify, retrofit, or build new barns to install the V300.”
However, that system allegedly suffers from material defects, and it could not produce Grade A Milk per industry standards, causing the plaintiff and the putative class to suffer from “impaired cow health, milk quality, and milk production and, more specifically, elevated bacteria levels and mastitis rates, causing elevated somatic cell counts, decreased milk production, and a host of other harms to both cows and milk quality.”
The plaintiff claimed that DeLaval knowingly concealed that their product was “defective and incapable of successfully performing these functions, including according to industry standards.”
The plaintiff and the putative class are suing on the counts of breach of contract, breach of implied warranty of merchantability and for fitness for a particular purpose, breach of express warranty, strict products liability, negligence, fraudulent inducement, negligent misrepresentation, fraudulent concealment or omission, and a violation of the Minnesota Deceptive Trade Practices Act in the hopes of recuperating the monetary losses their companies incurred from using these allegedly defective products.
The plaintiff is seeking class certification; compensatory, consequential, general, nominal, and punitive damages; statutory damages, treble, and punitive or exemplary damages; disbursement; pre- and post-judgment interest; and attorney’s fees and costs.