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Recall Food Proposed Class Action Lawsuit: Menu Foods, Hills, Royal Canin, etc.

growler~GateKeeper
July 16th, 2008, 09:25 PM
This proposed class action lawsuit is for both Canada and the US.

Even if you have received compensation from one of the defendants in this proposed lawsuit you are still eligible to file a claim http://www.petfoodsettlement.com/faqs/#idQ39


Pet Food Products Liability Settlement
If you purchased or your pet consumed pet food and/or treat product(s) recalled after March 16, 2007, please review this information carefully as it concerns a proposed settlement that may affect your rights.

All information available here for Canada: http://www.petfoodsettlement.com/?l=english&c=canada

Information for US: http://www.petfoodsettlement.com/

List of Defendants and Entities (http://www.petfoodsettlement.com/documents/miscellaneous/defendants.pdf)

List of Recalled Products (http://www.petfoodsettlement.com/documents/miscellaneous/recalled-products.pdf)

FAQs (http://www.petfoodsettlement.com/faqs/)

NOTICE OF CERTIFICATION AND PROPOSED SETTLEMENT OF RECALLED PET FOOD PRODUCTS CLASS ACTIONS
IF YOU PURCHASED OR YOUR PET CONSUMED PET FOOD AND/OR TREAT PRODUCT(S) RECALLED AFTER MARCH 16, 2007, PLEASE READ THIS NOTICE CAREFULLY. THESE CLASS ACTIONS AND THE PROPOSED SETTLEMENT MAY AFFECT YOUR RIGHTS.
THIS NOTICE WAS AUTHORIZED BY A JUDGE. THIS IS NOT A SOLICITATION
FROM A LAWYER OR A NOTICE OF A LAWSUIT AGAINST YOU.
YOU MAY BENEFIT FROM READING THIS NOTICE. IF YOU WISH TO RECEIVE BENEFITS UNDER THE PROPOSED SETTLEMENT, YOU MUST SUBMIT A CLAIM FORM.

Summary of Proposed Settlement
• There is a proposed class action settlement of the class action lawsuits that are pending in Canadian and U.S. courts regarding certain recalled pet food and/or treat product(s).
• This proposed Settlement Agreement is with defendants and persons or entities that handled, distributed, purchased for resale and/or redistribution, supplied, manufactured and/or sold or offered for sale pet food and/or pet treats that may have contained contaminated wheat gluten or rice protein concentrate and were recalled beginning in March 2007, as well as certain defendants, persons or entities that supplied that wheat gluten or rice protein concentrate (“Recalled Pet Food Products”). The settlement includes Canada and the United States. Complete lists of persons or entities involved and the Recalled Pet Food Products can be found at the settlement website, www.petfoodsettlement.com. You also may request copies of these lists by calling or writing to the Claims Administrator. Contact information for the Claims Administrator is provided at the end of this document.
• Plaintiffs allege, through lawsuits filed in Canada and in the United States, that the defendants handled, distributed, purchased for resale and/or redistribution, supplied, manufactured and/or sold or offered for sale the Recalled Pet Food Products that were contaminated with substances unfit for pet consumption, that the Recalled Pet Food Products were recalled beginning in March 2007, and that, as a result of the contamination, persons who purchased and/or whose pets consumed the Recalled Pet Food Products were damaged and that some pets were taken for screening, or may have became sick and/or died. By agreeing to the proposed settlement described in this Notice, Defendants make no admission as to the truth of these allegations, and they deny any wrongdoing.
• The defendants collectively have agreed to create a twenty-four million dollar ($24,000,000.00 (USD)) cash Settlement Fund from which eligible consumers and/or pet owners may receive a cash payment for up to 100% of all documented economic damages they incurred related to their purchase of or their pet’s consumption of the Recalled Pet Food Products. Economic damage means the expenses you incurred related to your purchase or your pet’s consumption of the Recalled Pet Food Products, including but not limited to testing, veterinary bills, property damage and any expenses related to your purchase or your pet’s illness and/or death.
• For each of your pets that consumed Recalled Pet Food Products, you may recover up to 100% of the reasonable economic damages you claim you suffered if you can supply documents showing the economic damage.
• In addition to compensation for expenses supported by documentation, you may also receive payment for other reasonable economic damages for which you do not have documentation to support. You must still complete a claim form and provide information about your economic damages to be eligible for payment of your undocumented expenses. Recovery for undocumented economic damages is limited to a maximum of $900 (USD) per pet. The Proposed Settlement does not provide any compensation for non-economic losses.
• You are a member of the Class if you purchased Recalled Pet Food Products, which were recalled between March 16, 2007 and the present, and/or your pet consumed the Recalled Pet Food Products.
• This Settlement applies to both Canadian and US residents. However, there will be different timelines in the U.S. for completion of the various steps required to make a claim or seek to be excluded from the settlement. If you are a U.S. resident who purchased or whose pet(s) consumed Recalled Pet Food Products, please visit the U.S. page of www.petfoodsettlement.com, or contact the Claims Administrator at 1-800-392-7785 for information on the U.S. process.

In a class action, one or more people called “class representatives” sue on behalf of themselves and other people who have similar claims. The people together are a “class” or “class members.” A court must determine if a lawsuit or a settlement should proceed as a class action. If it does proceed as a class action, there may be a trial. A trial then decides the lawsuit for everyone in the class. Sometimes, the parties may settle without a trial.
The parties here have agreed to a Proposed Settlement that includes pet owners in Canada and in the U.S. who purchased, used or obtained or whose pets consumed the Recalled Pet Food Products. A United States District Court has preliminarily approved this Proposed Settlement and will hold a Hearing to decide whether it should be finally approved. U.S. District Court Judge Noel L. Hillman is the presiding judge in this class action. A similar approval process will take place before various Canadian Courts, concurrently, on November 3, 2008 at 9:00 am Pacific Time and the corresponding time in the applicable time zones of each of the Canadian Courts.

How Do I Know If I Am Included In The Proposed Class Action?
You are a member of the Settlement Class if you purchased, used or obtained, or your pets used or consumed Recalled Pet Foods Product(s), unless you are a member of the class certified by the Circuit Court of the First Circuit, State of Hawai`i in Lum v. Menu Foods, Inc. et al (Civil No. 07-1-0849-05 (EEH).1

You need not do anything to become part of the Class, but you must complete the Claim Form in order to be eligible to receive any benefit from the Settlement. As a Settlement Class member, all proceedings, orders, and judgments entered in connection with the proposed settlement and Settlement Agreement, including the release, covenant not to sue and dismissal with prejudice described below, will apply to you.

How Do I Determine If The Food I Purchased Was Recalled?
A list of the recalled products can be found at the settlement website, www.petfoodsettlement.com. You also may request a copy of the list by calling or writing to the Claims Administrator. Contact information for the Claims Administrator is provided at the end of this document.

Benefits Of The Proposed Settlement —What You May Get
The Proposed Settlement provides for the creation of a twenty-four million dollar ($24,000,000.00 (USD)) Settlement Fund from which eligible consumers may receive up to a 100% cash payment for all documented, reasonable economic damages incurred as a result of their purchase or their pets’ consumption of Recalled Pet Food Products, including veterinary treatment costs, death-related expenses, pet purchase price or replacement cost, property damages and other economic losses. Consumers who do not have documents supporting their claims for economic damages may still be eligible for cash reimbursement subject to a $900 (USD) limit per pet. The Proposed Settlement does not provide any compensation for non-economic losses.
The claims may be subject to certain limitations described below.

Settlement notice, administration costs, and lawyers’ fees and expenses also will be paid out of the Settlement Fund.
All aspects of this Proposed Settlement are subject to Court approval in Canada and in the U.S.

Are There Any Limits On My Ability To Recover?
A Claims Administrator unrelated to any party in this lawsuit will administer the settlement. The Claims Administrator will review all claims and expenses submitted and determine whether they are valid, reasonable and payable.

Eligible consumers may receive up to a 100% cash payment for all documented, reasonable economic damages incurred as a result of their purchase or their pets’ consumption of Recalled Pet Food Products. Claims may be subject to certain limitations:
(a) the total amount of money available from the Settlement Fund to reimburse pet owners for healthy pet screening (or testing), in cases where the pet did not become ill or die is limited to a total of $400,000 (USD.) If this limit is reached, the part of your claim for testing your healthy pet will be pro-rated based on the ratio of the amount of your claim approved by the Claims Administrator to the total amount of all the approved claims for healthy pet screening.
(b) the total amount of money available from the Settlement Fund for Reimbursement of purchases of Recalled Pet Food is limited to a total of $250,000 (USD). If this limit is reached, the part of your claim for reimbursement of Recalled Pet Food purchases will be pro-rated based on the ratio of the amount of your approved claim to the total amount of all the approved claims for Recalled Pet Food reimbursement.
(c) if the total value of claims for all other economic damages—separate and apart from healthy pet screening claims and Recalled Pet Food purchase claims—exceed the total Settlement Fund amount available, the part of your claim for all other economic damages will be pro-rated based on the ratio of the amount of your approved claim to the total amount of all the approved claims for these other economic damages. Claims for economic damages that are not supported with documentation are limited to a maximum of $900 (USD) per pet.

What Happens If There Is Money Left Over In The Settlement Fund?
If valid claims submitted total less than the Settlement Fund amount available, the difference between the total claims and the Settlement Fund available will be paid to charitable organizations in the United States and Canada that promote the health and well-being of pets.

How Do I File A Claim, and Will I Have to Pay Anything To Do So?
Attached to this Notice is a Claim Form. YOU MUST FILL OUT AND SIGN THE CLAIM FORM AND SUBMIT IT TO THE CLAIMS ADMINISTRATOR, FAXED OR EMAILED (PDF. FORMAT) POSTMARKED ON OR BEFORE JANUARY 2, 2009 and addressed to:
In Re Pet Food Products Liability Litigation
Claims Administrator
c/o Heffler, Radetich & Saitta LLP
P.O. Box 890
Philadelphia, PA 19105-0890
USA
Claims@petfoodsettlement.com
Fax: 215-320-2004
IF YOU DO NOT SUBMIT YOUR SIGNED CLAIM FORM BY THIS DEADLINE, YOU WILL BE DEEMED TO HAVE WAIVED YOUR RIGHT TO RECEIVE ANY PAYMENT FROM THE SETTLEMENT FUND.
IF YOU ARE A U.S. RESIDENT, THERE IS A DIFFERENT DEADLINE TO SUBMIT A CLAIM. INFORMATION ON THE U.S. PROCESS IS AVAILABLE AT WWW.PETFOODSETTLEMENT.COM, OR FROM THE CLAIMS ADMINISTRATOR.
As part of your claim, you should provide as much documentation as you can relating to your economic damages, which means losses. All information provided will be treated as confidential. In addition to the expenses for which you are able to supply adequate documentation, you may be reimbursed for up to $900 (USD) of economic damages for which you do not have documentation, provided that the Claims Administrator determines that the claim is otherwise valid and reasonable.
The following are examples of documentation you might have for different types of economic damage. You may have different types of documentation from those mentioned. You should submit whatever you have.
Proof of purchase of the food may include receipts, cancelled checks, credit card statements, copies of the product labels from the products, other records from the place of purchase, or any other records that could demonstrate you purchased the food and how much you paid.
Proof of veterinary expenses may include veterinarian bills, veterinarian records, cancelled checks, receipts, credit card receipts or statements, or a statement from your veterinarian.
Death-related expenses may include the costs of euthanasia or putting your pet to sleep, necropsy or pet autopsy, cremation or burial or other services. Proof of these expenses may include veterinarian bills, veterinarian records, pet cemetery records, cancelled checks, receipts, credit card receipts or statements, or a statement from your veterinarian.
Pet reimbursement may include either the cost of purchasing a new pet or, in some cases, the cost of your deceased pet. If you purchased a new pet before May 22, 2008, you may be entitled to receive the cost or fair market value of the deceased pet, whichever is higher, or the reasonable cost of a new pet. If you purchased a new pet on or after May 22, 2008, you may be entitled to receive the cost or fair market value of the deceased pet. Proof of these expenses may include a bill, a receipt, credit card statement, cancelled check, AKC or CKC registration, Cat Fancier’s Association certificate, third party appraisal or other proof of the cost or fair market value of the pet.
While it does not cost anything to submit a claim, you may have to incur costs in obtaining, copying and submitting the documents to support your claim, such as veterinary records. You will not be reimbursed for these costs as part of the Settlement.
For undocumented economic damage claims, you will be asked to describe your claims in as much detail as possible and explain why you do not have supporting documentation for those claims.

The Claim Form must be signed. Please note that your signature on the Claim Form indicates that you declare, under penalty of perjury that the information you are submitting is true and accurate. The signature also authorizes the Claims Administrator to contact you or your veterinarian, or both, for more information and to discuss the information with your veterinarian as part of evaluating your claim.

When And Where Will The Court Decide On Whether To Grant Final Approval Of The Proposed Settlement?
The U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey will hold a Final Approval Hearing on October 14, 2008 at 9:30 a.m. to consider whether the Proposed Settlement is fair, reasonable and adequate. At the Hearing, the Court will decide whether to approve the Proposed Settlement and the request for lawyers’ fees and expenses. If comments or objections have been received, the Court will consider them at this time.
Canadian Courts will hold similar hearings concurrently on November 3, 2008 in British Columbia at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time, in Alberta and Saskatchewan at 10:00 a.m. Mountain Time, in Manitoba at 11:00 a.m. Central Time, in Ontario and Quebec at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time, in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia at 1:00 p.m. Atlantic Time and in Newfoundland at 1:30 p.m. Nfld Time.
Note: The Hearings in the U.S. and In Canada may be postponed to a different date without additional notice.

Updated information will be posted on the settlement website, www.petfoodsettlement.com.

Where Do I Obtain More Information?
If you have any questions about the lawsuit or this Notice, you may:
• Visit the Pet Food Settlement website at www. petfoodsettlement.com
• Call toll free 1-800-392-7785
• Write to: Pet Food Settlement Administrator at:
In Re Pet Food Products Liability Litigation
Claims Administrator
c/o Heffler, Radetich & Saitta LLP
P.O. Box 890
Philadelphia, PA 19105-0890
USA