Consumers can submit claims in the Nestle Purina dog treat product class action settlement

Consumers may now submit claims in the proposed settlement for damages from Nestlé Purina PetCare Company, maker of dog treats blamed in the illness and death of thousands of dogs. Consumers may receive payment for damages related to their purchase of Nestlé Purina brand Waggin’ Train or Canyon Creek Ranch brand jerky or other dog treat products sold in the United States.

The settlement was reached in class action lawsuits claiming that Nestlé Purina Waggin’ Train or Canyon Creek Ranch brand dog treat products imported from imported from China were “defective” and that some pets may have become sick and/or died after consuming the products. A complete list of the dog treat products covered in the settlement can be found on the Dog Treat Product Settlement website.

Consumers wishing to obtain reimbursement for their purchase of the dog treat products can obtain a refund and may also be provided reimbursement for the injury, death or veterinary expenses associated with their pet’s consumption of the Nestlé Purina dog treat products. Consumers who wish to receive benefits under the proposed settlement must submit a claim form before April 1, 2015.

How do I know if I’m included in the settlement?

You are a member of the settlement class if you purchased or obtained, or your pets used or consumed Waggin’ Train or Canyon Creek Ranch brand dog treat product(s) imported from China or containing any ingredient imported from China.

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 compensation from the settlement.

Are there any limits on the amount I can recover?

Although the settlement fund is $6.5 million, up to 33% will go to attorneys’ fees and expenses not to exceed $100,000. In addition, each of the class representatives will award them up to $5,000 each.

The total amount of money available from the settlement fund to reimburse pet owners for veterinary treatment and testing, in cases where the pet did not become ill or die, is limited to a total of $100,000. However, 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 to the total amount of all the approved claims for veterinary treatment and testing.

The total amount of money available from the settlement fund for reimbursement of purchases of dog treat products is limited to a total of $700,000. If this limit is reached, the part of your claim for reimbursement of the product 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 reimbursement.

If the total value of claims for all other economic damages – separate and apart from healthy pet screening claims and dog treat product purchase claims – exceeds the total settlement fund amount available, the part of your claim for 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.

Any pro rata reductions will be applied first to claims made by settlement class members without supporting documentation before any pro rata reduction is made to claims made by settlement class members that do submit supporting documentation. Claims for economic damages that are not supported with documentation are limited to a maximum of $300 per pet.

What are economic damages?

Economic damage means the expenses consumers incurred related to their purchase or their pet’s consumption of the dog treat products, include veterinary screening or treatment costs, death-related expenses, reimbursement for the cost or “fair market value” of the deceased pet, and the cost of the dog treat products.

How do I submit a claim?

You must fill out and sign the claim form and submit it to the claims  administrator, postmarked, faxed or emailed (in a .pdf format) on or before April 1, 2015, at the following address:

Dog Treat Products Settlement Claims Administrator
PO Box 4178
Portland, OR 97208-4178
Phone Number: (866) 329-9963
Fax Number: (844) 892-7212
Email Address: info@DogTreatProductsSettlement.com

As part of your claim, you should provide as much documentation as you can relating to your economic damages, which means expenses. All information provided will be treated as confidential and will be used only for the purpose of reviewing and administering your claim.

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.

  • Documentation of dog treat product purchases 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.
  • Documentation 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, burial, or other services. Documentation 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.
  • You may also be eligible to receive reimbursement for the loss of your pet, either the “fair cost or fair market value” of the deceased pet. Documentation of these expenses may include a bill, a receipt, credit card statement, cancelled check, AKC or CKC registration, third-party appraisal, or other documentation of the “cost or fair market value” of the pet.

What are my rights and options under the settlement?

  • You can submit a claim
    The only way to get a payment. Submit your claim form by mail, facsimile or email (in a .pdf format) to the claims administrator no later than April 1, 2015.
  • You can exclude yourself
    Get no payment. This is the only option that allows you to not be bound by the final judgment and release and to be part of any other lawsuit concerning the issues being settled now. You must exclude yourself from the settlement class by no later than February 10, 2015.
  • You can comment on the proposed settlement
    Write to the court about why you support or oppose the proposed settlement. If you want to object to the settlement, you must do so in writing by May 25, 2015. Filing an objection does not exclude you from the settlement.

    You can go to the final approval hearing
    Ask to speak to the court about the proposed settlement at the final approval hearing, scheduled for June 23, 2015 (date subject to change).
  • You can opt to do nothing
    Get no payment. You will not be able to bring or be part of any other lawsuit concerning the issues being settled now, and you will be bound by the final judgment and release in this case.

What if I think the settlement sucks?

If you have comments about, or disagree with, any aspect of the proposed settlement, you may express your views to the court in writing. The written response should include your name, address, telephone number, and a brief explanation of your comment or reason for objection on or before May 25, 2015. Details on how to do so are on the settlement’s website here.

When will the court decide whether to grant final approval of the proposed settlement?

Believe it or not, the settlement isn’t actually settled. That is, until the U.S. District Court holds a final approval hearing on June 23, 2015 at 10 a.m. (subject to change) to consider whether the proposed settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. At the final approval hearing, the court will decide whether to approve the proposed settlement and the request for attorneys’ fees and expenses. If comments or objections have been timely received, the court will consider them at this time.

I’m overwhelmed – I need help and I need it now!

If you have any questions about the lawsuit or the notice, you may:

  • Contact Co-Lead Class Counsel at:
    Stuart A. Davidson
    Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP
    120 E. Palmetto Park Road, Suite 500
    Boca Raton, FL 33432
    Email: sdavidson@rgrdlaw.com
    Tel: (561) 750-3000
  • Call the Claims Administrator toll free 1-866-329-9963
  • Write the Claims Administrator at:
    Dog Treat Products Settlement Claims Administrator
    PO Box 4178
    Portland, OR 97208-4178
  • Fax the Claims Administrator at:
    1-844-892-7212

The following documents are available for viewing or downloading; please click the links below:

Long Form Notice
Settlement Agreement
List of Dog Treat Products
Claim Form
Complaint

The remarkably long list of dog treat products in the settlement

  • Waggin’ Train dog treat products:
    Chicken Bites
    Chik’n Biscuits
    Cowboy Steaks
    Drumettes
    Healthy Promise
    Chicken Jerky Bites
    Duck Jerky Bites
    Chicken jerky Links
    Chicken Jerky Sticks
    Duck Jerky Sticks
    Chicken Jerky Tenders
    Duck Jerky Tenders
    Kabobs
    Big Blast
    Chicken Wrapped Big Blast
    Duck Wrapped Big Blast
    Prime Cutlets
    Supreme Green
    Supreme Clean
    Western Grill
    Yam Good
    Ham It Up
    Country Ham
    Jerky Tenders
    Wholesome Chicken Jerky Tenders
    Freshies Supreme Green
    Bananzas
    Bananas Wrapped with Chicken
    Yam Good – Wholesome Yams Wrapped with Duck
    Freshies Supreme Clean
    Wrapples
    Apples Wrapped with Chicken
    Happy Trails to Chew
    I Yam What I Yam
    Yam Good – Wholesome Yams Wrapped with Chicken
    Jerky Bites
    Healthy Promise – Shine On
    Shine On
    Healthy Promise – Walk Tall
    Walk Tall
    Lassos
    Cartwheels
    Fiddlestix
    Chicken Stix
    Healthy Promise – Chew Well
    Chew Well
    Western Style Chicken Bites
    Country Style Drumettes
    Wholesome Duck Jerky Tenders
    Ham’n Biscuits Recipe
    Ham’n Biscuits
    Chik’n Biscuits Recipe
    PBJ
    Country Crunch
    Jerky Sticks
    Crispy Puffs
    Chicken Crispy Puffs
    Cheese & Chicken
    Twisters
  • Canyon Creek Ranch products:
    Big Blast
    Duck Wrapped Big Blast
    Chicken Stix
    Rawhide Wheels Stuffed with Chicken
    Chicken Chips
    Chicken Poppers
    Poppers
    Chicken Wrapped Rawhide
    Chicken and Bananas
    Chicken Breast Tender Snack
    Chicken Tenders
    Duck Tenders
    Chicken & Veggies
    Chicken & Veggie Bites
    Drumettes
    Kabob’s
    Western Grill
    Chicken Yam Good
    Duck Yam Good
    Onward – Glide
    Glide
    Onward – Glow
    Glow
    Onward – Heart & Eyes
    Heart & Eyes
    Turkey Jerky Strips
    Chicken Kabobs
    Homestyle Ham
    Cheese & Chicken
    Yam Good
    Banana & Chicken Wraps
    Apple & Chicken Wraps
    Wrapovers – Apple & Chicken
    Wrapovers – Banana & Chicken
    Wrapovers – Cheese & Chicken
    Yams
    Franks
    Cowboy Steaks
    Trail Mix for Dogs
    Ringers
    Apple Bites Wrapped with Chicken
    Banana Bites Wrapped with Chicken
    Yams Wrapped with Duck Fillet
    Western Chicken Chips
    Chicken & Veggie Bites Recipe
    Trail Chews
    Western Style Kabobs
    Big Blast – Slims
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Mollie Morrissette

Mollie Morrissette, author of Poisoned Pets, is an animal food safety expert and advisor to AAFCO. Help support her work by making a donation today.

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