Appeals Could Stall Pet Food Recall Settlement

Two appeals filed in December 2008 will postpone payment of claims.

Posted: January 9, 2009, 5 a.m. EST

Compensation payments for pet owners affected by 2007’s pet food recall may be delayed due to appeals filed against a $24 million settlement agreed upon by companies that manufactured and dealt the contaminated food.

More than 23,000 pet owners in the United States have asked to receive compensation in the settlement, and those with approved claims were to start receiving checks in 2009. However, two appeals were filed in December 2008. According to the case’s claims administrator website, that means the payment of claims will be postponed.

“No payments may be made on eligible claims until all appeals are resolved,” the website states. “It is uncertain how long these appeals will take to resolve, and the timing of resolving the appeals is not within the control of the parties or their counsel. It is not uncommon for appeals to take several months or even years to resolve.”

The case began in March 2007 when Menu Foods, of Ontario, Canada, recalled more than 50 brands of dog food and more than 40 brands of cat food after a number of pets became sick. Several other companies soon followed suit. The recall eventually covered approximately 180 brands of pet food and treats produced by 12 different manufacturers and distributed, marketed, and sold to dozens of retailers.

Wheat gluten and rice-protein concentrate imported from China were found to have been contaminated with melamine, an industrial chemical used to make plastic, and cyanuric acid — the combination of which can lead to acute renal failure in small animals.

Menu Foods and other companies involved in the pet food recall agreed to pay up to $24 million in a settlement, which was approved by a federal judge in October 2008. Canadian courts approved the settlement in November.

The settlement agreement creates a settlement fund that will allow a potential recovery of up to 100 percent of economic damages incurred by pet owners. Pet owners can receive up to $900 for undocumented claims.

One of the appeals to the settlement concerns alleged mislabeling of pet food as “Made in the USA.” The other regards the fairness and adequacy of the settlement, among other arguments. Details were not immediately available.

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Linda   Texas City, TX

8/20/2010 8:22:34 AM

My 2 dogs both died because of this tainted pet food. I sent in my claim form in 2007 , and it is absolutely frustrating and appalling that this is taking so long. My dogs were like my children, and we all deserve compensation. My Vet bills were astronomical , trying to keep them both alive , to no avail. I check the "Pet Food Settlement " website every other day, and it just infuriates me that there is no new news. These companies are responsible for this tragedy and I am tired of waiting !

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Barbara   Alvin, TX

6/10/2010 8:42:45 PM

BTW - I forgot to include all breed-specific information. My Buddy-boy happens to be a pure bred Australian Cattle Dog (or Queensland Heeler)(as far as I can tell,since he's from a rescue site). I thought this might be pertinent if anyone is keeping any statistics on breeds and suseptibility to this Melamine poisoning. Buddy ate the same food, but didn't seem to have adverse effects that he couldn't shake off. Merlie, on the other hand, being Australian Shepherd and Greyhound (we think), might have been more suseptible ... maybe by her being much larger (~70 lbs.) or by her having Greyhound blood, which is a historically sensitive breed. Aussie-shep dogs are pretty strong of breed, but nothing compared to an Aussie Cow Dog/Queensland. I don't know what protected Buddy-boy, but I just thank
God.

I just thought some of you going through this might be interested in breed when looking back at what furry buddies of ours were affected in a certain way. I don't know that it is significant from a scientific standpoint, but thought it worthwhile to
share.

Love to
all,

Barbara in Alvin, Tx

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barbara   alvin, TX

6/10/2010 6:49:45 PM

I am so sorry for those that lost a beloved pet to the Menu Foods poisoning fiasco. I fed both of my dogs, Buddy-boy and Merlie-girl, the O'le Roy gravy and meat packets on top of their kibble. Luckily, Buddy hasn't seemed to have any long term effects, but I nearly lost Merlie-girl (an Australian Shep-Greyhound mix) and had her in the very expensive "Gulf Coast Animal Hospital" for a week pushing IV's containtly to keep her alive from unexplained renal failure. Then, when they released her I took her home and continued feeding both my dogs the same food because the recall had not been announced yet and the vet didn't know what had caused the renal failure. I remember standing in the kitchen and just about jumping out of my skin as I heard the news on the TV about the recall. I ran to the computer to look up the list of tainted food ... kibble good, sigh of relief! No mention of the O'le Roy gravy and meat packets, but thank God I decided not to feed anything extra besides the kibble. About a week later the gravy packets showed up on the list. I checked the bar-codes and Bingo! There it was. (I still have one of the packets in my freezer as evidence!!!) I felt HORRIBLE I had continued to feed them that food after getting Merlie home from the hospital. I filed my claim (took hours of gathering receipts, copying bills, bar codes, etc.) and then waited to find out I had to do the same thing again with the BULLCRUD Class Action attorneys! So, I did everything I knew to do right, BY THEIR DATE CUTOFFS, now I continue to spend crazy money for Merlie's vet care and $50/bag Renal Care prescription dog food to help keep her alive with 50-60% renal function loss, clean the carpeting when she can handle her kidney functions, and WAIT ON THEM with no cut-off deadlines!!! And she's having other effects from having to be on 14% protein food to protect her remaining kidney funtion. My vet won't hardly do anything with Merlie without doing an organ function work-up because of her delicate situation. Of course, all of us that are blessed enough to still have our beloved pets with us keep paying out the nose because we wouldn't think of not doing so, but certainly none of these on-going expenses are included in their rotten and corrupt "Class Action" case because it occurs after the cut-off in 2008. This is absolutely
disgraceful.

But again, I am humbled by those of you that lost your pets. May God hold them and you in the palm of his hands .... and may he chastize these greedy pukes of lawyers for playing games with our hearts, beloved pets and our meager budgets.

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Stacia   Clearwater, FL

6/1/2010 11:03:26 AM

We lost our beloved Sammy (a little adorable black and white Shih Tzu)...How can you put a price on such an important part of our family. We are still in mourning after one year and so is his brother (same age Shih Tzu). How can these people who poisoned our babies justify this delay. Our credit card bills, which we're still paying, now have the added expense of his death (his ashes now sit in our living room) We'll never forget him, and we have to live with the fact that we fed him this poisoned food. The very least they can do is compensate us and stop the delays.

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