Cass County farm has agreed to pay for new housing

A Cass County farm has agreed to pay about $10,000 and build new housing to settle a lawsuit over conditions for migrant workers.

A federal judge approved the deal this week between the U.S. Labor Department and Berrybrook Farms. The farm is based in Dowagiac, but it also has camps in Van Buren County.

The government had accused Berrybrook of failing to meet a number of conditions from adequate water supplies, to screens, to even rodent control.

Any new housing would be phased in over a few years, starting sometime in 2013. Some existing housing can be used as long as it meets state standards.

Berrybrook must also assign someone to conduct weekly housing inspections, and make those reports available to the state.

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