United States of Am., ex rel. Kenneth Kraemer, & Kenneth Kraemer & Kraemer Farms, LLC, a Minnesota limited liability company, Plaintiffs, v. United Dairies L.L.P., a Minnesota limited liability partnership; Union Dairy, L.L.P., a Minnesota limited liability partnership; Westland Dairy, LLP, a Minnesota limited liability partnership; Alpha Foods, L.L.P., a Minnesota limited liability partnership; Nicholas Ridgeway; Craig Achen; Steven Landwehr; Thomas Landwehr; Matthew Landwehr; Robert Hennen; Silverstreak Dairies, LLC, a Minnesota limited liability company; Greg Marthaler; Marthaler Properties Family LLLP, a Minnesota limited liability limited partnership, d/b/a Marthaler Farms; & Dairyridge, Inc., a S. Dakota corporation, Defendants., No. CV 16-3092 (DWF/LIB), 2019 WL 2524770 (D. Minn. June 19, 2019)
Plaintiff-relators Kenneth Kraemer (“Kraemer”) and Kraemer Farms, LLC (collectively, “Plaintiffs”) initiated this qui tam action on behalf of the United States of America (the “Government”), against Defendants United Dairies L.L.P. (“United”), a Minnesota limited Liability partnership; Union Dairy, L.L.P. (“Union”), a Minnesota limited liability partnership; Westland Dairy, LLP (“Westland”), a Minnesota limited liability partnership; Alpha Foods, L.L.P. (“Alpha”), a Minnesota limited liability partnership; Nicholas Ridgeway (“Ridgeway”); Craig Achen (“Achen”); Steven Landwehr (“S. Landwehr”); Thomas Landwehr (“T. Landwehr”); Mathew Landwehr (“M. Landwehr”); Robert Hennen (“Hennen”); Silverstreak Dairies, LLC (“Silverstreak”), a Minnesota limited liability company; Greg Marthaler (“Marthaler”); Marthaler Properties Family LLLP (“Marthaler Farms”), a Minnesota limited liability limited partnership, d/b/a Marthaler Farms; and Dairyridge, Inc.(“Dairyridge”), a South Dakota corporation (collectively “Defendants”).
Plaintiffs’ qui tam Complaint was filed under seal on September 15, 2016. ( The Complaint was unsealed on August 4, 2017 and served on Defendants between August 24 and September 5, 2017. (See Doc. Nos. 18, 25, and 26.) Kraemer asserts two causes of action under the False Claims Act (“FCA”), 31 U.S.C. § 3729(a)(1), and a third cause of action for Unjust Enrichment, on behalf of the Government. Kraemer and Kraemer Farms, L.L.C. initially alleged four additional causes of action (the “Kraemer Counts”): (1) retaliation under the FCA, 31 U.S.C. § 3730(h) against Defendants United, Union, Ridgeway, Achen, S. Landwehr, T. Landwehr, M. Landwehr, and Hennen; (2) breach of contract against United, and the same individuals listed in Kraemer Count One; (3) declaratory judgment against the same defendants for the breach of contract alleged in Kraemer Count Two, ; and (4) breach of contract against Union (id. ¶¶ 104-08).
Only the first Kraemer Count remains. The Court dismissed Count IV with prejudice on March 26, 2018. The Court found Counts II and III subject to mandatory arbitration and dismissed them without prejudice on July 6, 2018. (Doc. No. 69 (“Order”).) Counts II and III were subsequently resolved through arbitration on August 30, 2018.
This matter is before the Court on Plaintiffs’ motion for partial summary judgment, and Defendants’ motion for summary judgment. The Court denies Plaintiffs’ motion, and grants in part and denies in part Defendants’ motion. Specifically, the Court dismisses Defendant Silverstreak as a party, but denies Defendants’ motion in all other respects.
Final rule; Rural Housing Service, USDA; The Rural Housing Service (RHS or Agency) published a proposed rule on August 31, 2018 to amend its regulations for the direct and guaranteed single family housing loan and grant programs. Through this action, RHS finalizes the rule as final based on public comments, but with a revision to the definition of rural area to cite the statute which defines rural area and with a technical correction to the suspension or debarment requirement. Info HERE
Final rule; correction: Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), USDA; This document contains technical corrections to the Paperwork Reduction Act section of final rule entitled “Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Student Eligibility, Convicted Felons, Lottery and Gambling, and State Verification Provisions of the Agricultural Act of 2014,” published in the Federal Register on April 15, 2019. Info HERE
Final rule: Commodity Credit Corporation, USDA; This rule amends the regulations that specify the storage and handling of cotton at warehouses approved by the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC). The amendment modifies the weekly accounting and reporting for cotton bales made available for shipment to assure compliance with CCC requirements. This rule also revises the regulations to reflect transfer of administrative oversight of warehouse programs and activities from the Farm Service Agency (FSA) to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). Info HERE
Revision to and extension of approval of an information collection; comment request: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA; In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s intention to request a revision to and extension of approval of an information collection associated with the Horse Protection Program and enforcement of the Horse Protection Act. Info HERE
Notice: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); EPA has granted emergency exemptions under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) for use of pesticides as listed in this notice. The exemptions were granted during the period October 1, 2018 to March 30, 2019, except for one granted in September 2018, to control unforeseen pest outbreaks. The item for the exemption granted in September 2018 was issued to the Wyoming Department of Agriculture for the use of indaziflam on rangeland, pastures, and areas subject to the conservation reserve program to control Medusahead and Ventenata. From the previous notice for this exemption, published in the notice for pesticide emergency exemption decisions from the February 14, 2019 Federal Register (84 FR 4063) (FRL-9987-70), the effective dates are corrected to be September 14, 2018 to September 14, 2019. Info HERE