January 18, 2011 – The decision made on a major class action pet food recall has been upheld in the U.S. Court of Appeals. A report from Dog Channel announced that the $24 million class action lawsuit against Canada-based pet food company Menu Foods has been upheld after being appealed. The original class action lawsuit began in May 2008 after a massive food recall in 2007 following the death or serious illness of several pets. Owners involved in the class action claimed their pets suffered severe renal failure and in many cases death after the food was found to be contaminated with melamine. The original settlement of $24 million involved a $250,000 cap on product reimbursement claims, which was the only term not to be upheld in the appeal. The judgment issued on December 16, 2010, found that the lower court’s original decision lacked the information needed to evaluate the value and allocation of the purchase claims, as many claimants did not have the sales receipt for a return.
More than 24,000 claims had been filed by the November 24th, 2008 deadline but the disbursement of the settlement had been delayed by the appeal. The case returns to district court in New Jersey for finalization, but no court date has been set. The lawsuit began when Menu Foods recalled over 50 brands of dog food and more than 40 brands of cat food in March 2007 when several reports of ill pets surfaced. Eventually the recall covered nearly 180 brands of pet food and treats, produced by 12 manufacturers and sold at numerous retailers across the country.
If you suffer damages of any kind from a defective or dangerous product you are entitled to seek compensation for your losses from the manufacturer or distributor of that product. In cases such as these where the plaintiffs incurred vet bills due to the negligence of the pet food company those owners are entitled to recovering the expenses of the vet, plus emotional damages for the loss of a pet.
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