Bereaved owners may receive millions in poison pet-food settlement
Last Updated: Tuesday, October 14, 2008 | 3:58 PM ET
The Associated Press
Source of Article: http://www.cbc.ca/consumer/story/2008/10/14/tainted-pet-food-deal.html
Thousands of Canadian and
A federal judge in
But some pet owners, including
Donna Elliott of Fries,
"How do you answer the statement on the claim form, 'What was the value of your pet?' My companion was everything in the world to me," said Fries, who sent U.S. District Judge Noel Hillman a picture of her late boxer, Abby.
In addition to the $8 million they had already agreed to pay owners of pets who became ill from the tainted food, the group of pet-food companies involved in the case proposed contributing another $24 million for the settlement.
It allows pet owners to apply for expenses associated with deaths and illnesses, including the costs of veterinarians, time missed from work to care for sick animals, replacement pets, burial expenses and even property damaged because animals became ill.
Under the terms of the deal, even those who did not keep receipts for either the pet food or the costs of the pets' illness and death could receive up to $900 per animal.
Any money remaining after all plaintiffs are paid would go to animal-welfare charities.
Last year, the U.S. Food and
Drug Administration found many pet foods contained melamine, a chemical used
to make plastics. The melamine was traced to contaminated wheat gluten
In March 2007, the companies
that made or sold the pet food agreed to settle lawsuits with pet owners. In
April, lawyers representing plaintiffs and dozens of companies announced they
had struck a deal for pet owners in the
As of Sept. 30, more than 9,500
people in the
The companies involved in the case include Menu Foods Income Fund of Streetsville, Ont., which makes dog and cat food under about 90 brand names.
with files from the Associated Press
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