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Tainted Pet Food Settlement $3.1 Million

Posted by Jane Akre
Saturday, January 05, 2008 12:12 AM EST
Category: Protecting Your Family
Tags: Toxic Substances, Defective Products


Diamond Pet Foods will pay $3.1 million to settle with pet owners over contaminated pet food that killed and sickened dogs and cats.


Dozens of dogs died nationwide in 2005 when a Gaston, South Carolina plant failed to make sure the pet food it was producing was safe. Today the company, Diamond Pet Foods settled with pet owners for $3.1 million.

The pet food contained aflatoxin, a naturally occurring chemical from fungus found on corn used in making dog and cat food. Aflatoxin can cause liver failure.

About a dozen shipments of tainted corn slipped into the plant in 2005. The FDA found Diamond did not have records of test results from that corn but it went into food sold in 23 states as the Diamond Brand or Country Value brand.

When a New York veterinarian linked the death of a dog to Diamond food, about 350,000 bags of pet food were recalled. There is no final number on how many dogs died or pets were injured nationwide. 

The company has already settled with about 1,200 customers but many more have yet to file claims under the class action which started with a suit filed by plaintiff, Nicole Bass of Knoxville, Tennessee.

Pet owners have until April 15, 2008 to join the class action but they must be able to prove that they purchased the recalled pet food, did not return it to the store, and that their pet was injured as a result.

Pet owners of animals who died can be compensated for testing and treatment of aflatoxin poisoning, compensation for their pet's death and pet food up to $2,000.  Owners will not be compensated for loss of affection, mental anguish, emotional suffering or the cost of burial.

Plaintiffs who want to opt-out of the settlement and file their own individual lawsuit have until March 16, 2008 to do so.

Attorneys in the case will receive a fee of $465,000 which comes out of the settlement amount. 

The company does not admit it did anything illegal but says it will cooperate with those injured to avoid costly time-consuming litigation.

The Diamond pet food recall preceded the rash of pet deaths related to toxic melamine found in Menu Foods made in China in 2006.


1 Comment

Anonymous User
Posted by marimarnavarrio
Saturday, January 05, 2008 3:09 PM EST

my baby likes your dogs that you have

Comments for this article are closed.

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