Prairie Farms files motion to compel or bar in misconduct suit filed by farmers

Amelia Flood May 5, 2011, 1:56am



Prairie Farms has filed a motion to compel the owners of a Highland farm to answer production requests or to bar them from presenting any evidence of lost profits and income.

The motion and a case management order entered in April mark the first substantive action in the case filed by plaintiffs Michael and Denise Richter since 2009.

The case saw little action last year.

The plaintiffs are suing Prairie Farms Dairy Inc. in a case that centers on a milk marketing agreement.

The plaintiffs seek damages in excess of $50,000, attorney fees and costs in their action.

The Richters own Rich Lane Farms, a dairy farm.

The couple claims that after they bought stock in Prairie Farms and entered into the milk marketing agreement, they expended great sums of money in order to improve their Highland dairy.

Their agreement with Prairie Farms lasted until 2005 when the defendant allegedly terminated the agreement.

The plaintiffs allege that "The couple contends that Prairie Farms acted in a manner illegal or oppressive with respect to the plaintiffs in their capacity as shareholders."

In the motion to compel or bar, Prairie Farm argues that despite repeated attempts to get tax and financial information about the plaintiffs' dairy, they have been met with no production.

The April 29 motion asks that the court order the plaintiffs to furnish the documents the defendant request or that they be barred from using the same information at trial.

The case is set for a non-jury trial Nov. 21 at 9:30 a.m.

Madison County Circuit Judge David Hylla presides.

David Antognoli represents the plaintiffs.

Donald Schoemaker represents Prairie Farms.

The case is Madison case number 06-L-892.

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