Recalled Dog Food Companies May Pay for Damages
The story made headlines all over the world, as pet lovers struggled to find out how the food they gave their companions could have made them sick. Even with the massive recall across store shelves everywhere, contaminated food was being sold by some markets, and the list of “dangerous” food continued to grow. In response, pet owners were limited in their food choices, or chose to make their own pet food.
With a pending class-action and proposed settlement in the works for those who were most affected by the recall, it may finally seem like a step in the right direction. Let’s take a look at the basics of the litigation:
The official site - Full information can be found at www.petfoodsettlement.com. This is the only site responsible for the communication and processing of settlement claims. Don’t be fooled by imitations.
Who’s included – Anyone who purchased, used, or obtained (or if your pet used or consumed) pet food or treats that were recalled between March 16, 2007 and now due to the wheat gluten or rice protein defect are eligible to participate. That’s almost everyone I know!
What you’ll get – The total settlement fund should total $24 million. Eligible claimants may receive up to 100% of costs and damages incurred, which include:
- Reasonable economic damages
- Vet costs
- Death-related expenses
- Deceased pet purchase price or fair market value (whichever is higher) or new pet cost
- Property damage
Even without proper documentation, some people will be eligible for up to $900 in reimbursements per pet affected.
Limits and exclusions - There is a limit on some costs. For example, there will be no more than $400,000 total paid out for health-checks for healthy pets. Reimbursement for purchase of recalled pet food will be paid out at no more than $250,000 total. If there is any money left in the fund after all claims have been paid, the remainder will be donated to a “charitable organization” that promotes the health and well-being of pets.
Claims must be submitted prior to November 24, 2008. If you have already filed a claim with the pet food company directly, you will need to provide this information in your new claim. The settlement isn’t limited only to dogs and cats – any pet affected by the recall may be eligible.
For those who have lost pets to tainted food, this will not even come close to repairing all damages. It’s good to know that there is some accountability, however, and hopefully this settlement is just the beginning of a long process of change in pet AND people food safety.