LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — California residents who have purchased milk at any time since 2003 are eligible to receive cash as part of a $52 million class-action settlement with major US dairy producers.

In the suit, a trade group representing about 70 percent of the US dairy industry was accused by an animal welfare group of leading a scheme to artificially inflate milk prices by slaughtering hundreds of thousands of cows.

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The suit was settled in September, with the defendants agreeing to pay $52 million without admitting or denying wrongdoing.

Residents of shaded states eligible for payouts Credit: BoughtMilk.com

Residents of shaded states eligible for payouts Credit: BoughtMilk.com

The settlement entitles residents of California and 14 states, as well as the District of Columbia, to collect their share of that cash if they have purchased milk or milk products (cream, half & half, yogurt, cottage cheese, cream cheese, or sour cream) at a grocery store since 2003. Proof of purchase is not required.

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Claims can be filed here.

The value of the individual payouts will depend on the number of claims filed. Individuals may receive between $5 and $20. Large-scale purchasers may receive between $140-$560, according to the website.

Claims will be paid into claimants’ online accounts such Paypal, the site says.

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The deadline to file a claim is Jan. 31.