Considering how many thousands, maybe millions of pets were killed or injured by this horrible occurance, don’t you think Menu Pet and the others got off too easily?
Thanks to USA Today for this article.
Tainted pet food suit settled for $24 million
By Julie Schmit, USA TODAY
Menu Foods, other pet food makers and retailers involved in last year’s massive pet food recall will set up a $24 million cash fund to compensate pet owners, according to a proposed settlement filed Thursday in federal court.
If the settlement is approved by the court, the fund is expected to be set up and disbursed over a period of months. Unlike many large settlements, consumers will get cash rather than coupons.
The vast majority of the fund will go to pet owners whose pets were injured or died as a result of kidney failure, which was linked to the contaminant discovered in some of the recalled pet food.
Damages supported by documentation, such as veterinary receipts, may be paid in full. Claimants also could get $900 per claim for undocumented losses, according to the agreement filed in U.S. District Court in New Jersey.
The settlement requires that eligible claimants’ dogs or cats ate a pet food recalled between March 16, 2007, and now. Coverable expenses include veterinary bills, pet food costs, burial costs, replacement pet costs, property damage and lost wages to care for sick animals.
The fund includes only $250,000 to compensate pet owners for food purchases, because most people have already been reimbursed for recalled pet food. Another $400,000 is allocated for people who had pets screened that were found to be healthy.
In addition to Menu, defendants include pet-food makers Del Monte, Hill’s Pet Nutrition and Iams; retailers such as Wal-Mart and importers ChemNutra and Wilbur-Ellis.
The fund is expected to compensate thousands of pet owners in the U.S. and Canada who bought recalled pet foods made by Menu and 11 others. The products had a contaminated ingredient from China that sickened dogs and cats.
The $24 million is in addition to $8 million that pet food makers have already paid to pet owners. Legal fees and expenses, which haven’t been determined, will come out of the fund. The settlement, negotiated over the past seven months, would resolve more than 100 lawsuits by more than 250 plaintiffs brought in the U.S. and a dozen in Canada.