Settlement reached in Nestle Purina jerky pet treat class action lawsuit

A nationwide class settlement was reached yesterday between a group of consumers and Waggin’ Train and Nestle Purina PetCare Company.

The settlement creates a settlement fund of $6,500,000 and establishes procedures that would permit consumers to submit claims for monetary relief. The agreement also requires Nestle Purina to undertake enhanced quality assurance measures and modify certain language on its packaging.

Chump change

While $6.5 million may sound like a significant sum to some, in fact it is quite small. Paltry even. Particularly after attorney’s fees are paid (up to 33% of the settlement), skimming $2,145,000 off the top leaving $4,355,000.

To understand the insignificance of the settlement it helps to realize that in the last year alone Nestle Purina Petcare’s sales were an astounding $12,557,537,002 billion. And their profit? $2,416,758,834 billion dollars – that’s with a “b”.

Purina, a subsidiary of Swiss food giant Nestlé S.A., is the world’s largest pet food producer. Purina products are sold internationally by mass merchandisers, supermarkets, pet supply stores, and online retailers. They market a staggering number of pet treats made in China sold under the names Waggin’ Train and Canyon Creek Ranch brands all of which are subject to the claims of the settlement.

Purina’s pet treat brands

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

It’s settled

The cases being settled are Adkins v. Nestle Purina PetCare Company, Gandara v. Nestle Purina PetCare Company, and Matin v. Nestle Purina PetCare Company.

Class action representatives, many whom I have written about, Dennis Adkins, Maria Higginbotham, Mary Ellis, Dwayne Holley, Kaiya Holley, Deborah Cowan, Barbara Pierpont, Cindi Farkas, Terry Safranek, Elizabeth Mawaka, Robin Pierre, Jill Holbrook, Mary Ellen Deschamps, Tracy Bagatta, Hal Scheer, S. Raymond Parker, Kristina Irving, Kathleen Malone, Jeannie Johnson, Rebel Ely, Rita DeSollar, Faris Matin, Rosalinda Gandara, and Felicita Morales shall each be paid $5,000.

If you have any questions about the settlement of these actions, please contact Thomas Soule at (312) 739-4200, or Phong Tran at (800) 449-4900 at EDELMAN, COMBS, LATTURNER & GOODWIN of Chicago.

Nestle Purina Settlement Press Release

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.

Comments (40) Write a comment

  1. FYI Walmart Golden Rewards Duck Jerky this is a copy of what i sent to the FDA!!

    So first of all I would like to say that I remeber the big recall put out originally on jerky treats made in china. I remember throwing out what i had and then looking for items made in the US. So just in the last couple of months I noticed Walmart having a this jerky back on its shelves thinking the product was now safe for my dogs again plus it was Duck Jerky not Chicken, Boy was I wrong!! So I bought a new bag at Walmart in Chandler, Iowa a few days ago because there current bag was almost gone. When I opened the bag I noticed it smelled a little different but thought it’s probably ok it must just be my nose this morning. So gave each of my dogs a small piece. Within the next ew hours my dogs started acting lie they were not well. They both then started puking and then started having diarrhea, this went on for four days. I was treating them with Pepto Bismol which at first they puked back up too. They both were still drinking water. I made sure they rested and kept a close eye on them. Finally on the end of the fourth day they started acting slightly better. By the sixth day they were back to themselves. The Treats I feed them ar Golden Rewards Duck Jerky distributed by Wal-Mart Stores and list a product of China. What I would like to know is why are these being allowed back on the self and why is Wal-mart allowed to do this!!the Best before says 6/11/2017 there is also the following stamped on the bag. 201511202400512, ho356 34615 115. The upc reads 6 8113112595 6. It is a 32 oz bag. I have saved the bag snd would gladly take it to a local office or mail in. PLEASE DO NOT LET THIS ISSUE CONTINUE AND DO A RECALL ONCE AGAIN AND GET THE NEWS OUT TO THE PUBLIC SO SOMEONE ELSE’S PET ENDS UP DYING!!!! Thank you and have a blessed day. Just thought i would pass this on.

    Reply

  2. So first of all I would like to say that I remeber the big recall put out originally on jerky treats made in china. I remember throwing out what i had and then looking for items made in the US. So just in the last couple of months I noticed Walmart having a this jerky back on its shelves thinking the product was now safe for my dogs again plus it was Duck Jerky not Chicken, Boy was I wrong!! So I bought a new bag at Walmart in Chandler, Iowa a few days ago because there current bag was almost gone. When I opened the bag I noticed it smelled a little different but thought it’s probably ok it must just be my nose this morning. So gave each of my dogs a small piece. Within the next ew hours my dogs started acting lie they were not well. They both then started puking and then started having diarrhea, this went on for four days. I was treating them with Pepto Bismol which at first they puked back up too. They both were still drinking water. I made sure they rested and kept a close eye on them. Finally on the end of the fourth day they started acting slightly better. By the sixth day they were back to themselves. The Treats I feed them ar Golden Rewards Duck Jerky distributed by Wal-Mart Stores and list a product of China. What I would like to know is why are these being allowed back on the self and why is Wal-mart allowed to do this!!the Best before says 6/11/2017 there is also the following stamped on the bag. 201511202400512, ho356 34615 115. The upc reads 6 8113112595 6. It is a 32 oz bag. I have saved the bag snd would gladly take it to a local office or mail in. PLEASE DO NOT LET THIS ISSUE CONTINUE AND DO A RECALL ONCE AGAIN AND GET THE NEWS OUT TO THE PUBLIC SO SOMEONE ELSE’S PET DOESN’T ENDS UP DYING!!!! Thank you and have a blessed day.

    Reply

  3. Hi Everyone,

    I just wanted to let those who may not know & like I was really expecting funds dispersement this month. The appeal is delayed & so once again our patience is really be tested. I guess its like the atty had said in the past, this isnt going to happen quickly. The judge has delayed settling the motion giving objector & husband more time.

    “Atty says “Judge will rule by mid-November after giving the objector a chance to respond and me a chance to reply.  Wish it was sooner; but it is what it is.”

    The United States District Court website shows a “note” on our judges docket schedule he wont return to motions untill Nov 3rd.

    “JUDGE GETTLEMAN WILL NOT HOLD A MOTION CALL OCTOBER 14, 2015 THROUGH OCTOBER 29, 2015.  JUDGE GETTLEMAN WILL RESUME HIS REGULAR MOTION CALL BEGINNING TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2015.”
    http://www.ilnd.uscourts.gov/HOME/JudgeInfo.aspx

    So I’m assuming the Judge is taking time off & this just happens to coincide with that time. But unfortunate for us, hence why its delayed until mid Nov. Just praying not too much longer.

    Reply

  4. I just got a letter last week stating my claim was accepted for economic damages. I’m not even sure how much I paid the vet but I’m pretty sure I submitted the bills. I remember how sick my 2 dogs got after eating the chicken jerky treats.

    Reply

  5. Below is last response I got emailed from Law Firm. But mine is from Sept 21st. I can see some of you have information from Oct, thanks for the update. Its nice to see a decision is being made on Oct 6, which I was unaware of. Fingers crossed goes well as last email from them didnt sound promising.

    ShayMarie,

    “The appeal is still pending.  The objector’s brief to the appeals court is due later this week, which we then have to respond to.  For the time being, I do not expect that the appeal will be over quickly, unfortunately.  In the meantime, I have asked the Federal Judge overseeing the case to reconsider his decision to allow the objector to appeal without paying the filing fees (called proceeding “in forma pauperis”).  The Judge is concerned about possible fraud on the court by the objector and her husband.  However, I had to also file a motion with the Federal appeals court to remand the case to allow the Federal Judge to reconsider his order.  Complicated procedural stuff, I know, but I am doing everything I can to make it as difficult for the objector to hold up this settlement as possible. 
    I suggest that you reach back out to me in another 30 days.  Hopefully I will have better news then.”

    Reply

  6. Molly, thank you for pointing out the correction in my the petsettlement website url. In addition, you asked about information I had written about concerning the appeal,as you didnt see anything on website. I actually got information directly from the the Law firm handling it. I emailed them & continue to so every 30 days. They have been kind enough to let me know how things are progressing. Hoping for all involved this is sooner rather then later. :)

    Mollie Morrissette
    August 21, 2015
    I cannot find any information out about the appeal you mention, although in the court papers filed in June it says: “…all proceedings related to the Agreement both before and after the Final Approval becomes final and is no longer subject to appeal.”

    See here for further details: https://www.dogtreatproductssettlement.com/Content/Documents/Final%20Approval%20Order.pdf

    BTW – the accurate website for the settlement is: https://www.dogtreatproductssettlement.com

    Reply

  7. June 23 2015 this class action (see website) was finalized money would have been distributed & 1 single person filed an appeal. Really? Lets all thank her. So unfair still paying on $674 & need for on going care for my babies. But public record says Sebrina Narkin — filed an appeal of the court’s approval of the settlement.
    (www.dogtreatproductsettlememt)
    This one act will cause a significant delay in disbursing settlement funds. It could be 4-6 mths. I sure hope as you all are that this appeal is dismissed quickly, but there is no guarantee.

    Reply

    • I cannot find any information out about the appeal you mention, although in the court papers filed in June it says: “…all proceedings related to the Agreement both before and after the Final Approval becomes final and is no longer subject to appeal.”

      See here for further details: https://www.dogtreatproductssettlement.com/Content/Documents/Final%20Approval%20Order.pdf

      BTW – the accurate website for the settlement is: https://www.dogtreatproductssettlement.com/

      Reply

    • Sabrina Narkin and her husband, a lawyer that was forced to quit his job in California for misconduct, are living on Welfare, have Medicaid, and signed a Pauper’s oath in lieu of cash to pay the filing fee, have filed protests on 12 class action suits. I don’t see any long delays, I hope, in these frivolous protests. I believe they are looking for a bribe to cancel the filing.

      Reply

      • That is terrible! I’ll have another look and see what I can find. Thanks Ray! You’re a dear and a darling! Oh wait…I found it! Give me a sec and I’ll do an update…

        Reply

      • Yes, the Narkins have somehow been enabled to file a frivolous lawsuit that has delayed the settlement for about 3 months and counting. I just heard that a judge will finally be making a decision on this appeal on Oct. 6. If the appeal is dismissed, the lawyers are saying it will be another 90 days before settlements go out and if it is not dismissed it could be over a year. This whole ordeal is baffling and frustrating!

        Reply

        • I, as a primary plaintiff, have heard nothing about a 90 day wait if the appeal is dismissed. my understanding is that : the monies are already allocated, no changes will be made when the appeal is dismissed. the distribution date will be the day after the appeal is dismissed, unless I missed something.

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          • I am a primary plaintiff as well and your understanding makes much more sense but this is what I heard from the law firm on Oct 2nd…

            “This proceeding has taken a lot of time. However, we believe that if has to pay the fee, she will not and her appeal will be dismissed and the settlement payments should be made in about 90 days. If he appeal is allowed to continue, there will probably not be a decision for about a year. To avoid that delay is why we have fought so hard to dismiss the appeal.”

          • Yes, I re read the email. It seems this will be stretched out until we all have passed because of an idiot.

    • I agree, this is ridiculous! The Narkins should not have the right to affect the entire class. I think it is frustrating as well as cruel to those of us that have already suffered too long.

      Reply

  8. This product of purina made my 2 dobermans very sick no money they offer is good enough for me purina needs shut down

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  9. We all agree that the settlement is a paltry compared to the money they make. The improved QA/QC was our main goal, and it’s easy to be critical when you aren’t involved. We have fought this for two years. There is NO smoking gun, no evidence against them. The negativity here seems to be intended for us, and will probably be attached whether it is intended or not. Since the antibiotics were discovered, the FDA is still testing for the adulterant, as is the NYDA.
    We got concessions for testing never before accomplished in a suit, and feel that every step above their old procedures is a step forward. The goal was to avoid future illness and death for pets, ours and others. Everyone is entitled to their opinion……..

    Reply

    • I did not mean to offend you, nor any one of you. I am simply critical of the outcome because in our society pets are seen as property in our legal system. That is not a criticism of any one of the people who have fought this tragic case for over two years. I commend each and every one of you for fighting Nestle Purina, and I certainly never meant to dispairage the efforts you made. We are all in your debt and I am deeply grateful for the work you all did.

      I too have worked selflessly on behalf of pet parents who were affected by the jerky treats. I have spent thousands of hours researching, and writing about this one topic. I have read hundreds of documents, hundreds of scientific articles, read countless medical and toxicology journals, and consulted with leading toxicologists all over the world.

      Do you remember the articles I did about you and Sarge?http://www.poisonedpets.com/one-mans-personal-story-of-the-loss-of-his-beloved-dog-sarge-poisoned-by-a-treat/

      I plan to do a follow-up story and I look forward to your input and hopefully you’ll find that I only want the same things that you folks do – a world where our beloved pets will not be poisoned by a pet food or treat.

      Reply

      • I remember the story well, it took a week and a lot of tears to get it written. Maybe I took the article wrong. If any correspondence will help in this effort, I will participate gladly. Having experienced this horror story gives a different outlook on the results of the settlement. It must be stopped, for our pets and their owners.

        Reply

        • Thank you! I am so sorry – that you have seen my work in a negative light. You are correct, no one, including myself, can ever fully appreciate the case without being in it. I wrote Terry S. and sent her a rough draft of part of my update on the settlement (the QA/QC aspect of the case). I won’t publish anything on the case until I get your all’s input. Again, I am deeply sorry if you (or anyone involved) have hurt by my negativity or that I seemed to be disparaging. I never meant it as a criticism of any one of you personally. I have the utmost respect for your tireless efforts to bring this to the public’s attention and you all deserve tremendous praise for that. I mean that from the bottom of my heart.

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          • I didn’t see your work as negative, it seems I took the article as negative to the settlement instead of Nestle-Purina. It is true that this suit should never have been needed. They should have insured all along the Quality and Safety of their products instead of ignoring the consumers. Money and Corporate Greed is their bottom line. Nestle is listed in the top fifteen most deadly corporations in the world, and they are Swiss, meaning they cannot be regulated in the same way as US corps. China is known to be nasty, filthy, and very deadly. Combine the two.
            I was not personally offended by this, my skin is very thick. Any offense I took was on behalf of our other Admins and supporters. I have watched them many nights until the wee hours, still working for this cause, most dedicated. Terry, Tracey, and Robin deserve to be commended highly.

          • I realize now I was insensitive to the plaintiffs who have given their heart and soul to this cause. And you are so right, those three women (and all the others, including you) deserve the highest praise. I have immense respect for all of you. And I am so sorry.

    • The negativity here is intended and directed at “the system,” not at the litigants. My point is that now Nestle is using enhanced quality control as an advertisement, as if that is something they should be congratulated for implementing. In reality, they did so because they were forced to, both by the terms of the suit, and, as a issue to facilitate re-introducing the products to the market subsequent to the recall. Quality control, for a product that is intended to be FED to our family members, is not something I would give any manufacturer praise for.

      I disagree that negativity “will probably be attached (to the litigants) whether it is intended or not,” there is no reason (other than Nesle’s) for any consumer to take that conclusion.

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  10. Molly, you don’t seem to grasp how this story from you is tantamount to pouring salt into the still open woulds of the victims. Terry has given the facts as far as the why and how, so I shan’t repeat them, but for those of us that have been living this particular case, day in and day out for the last 3 years, this settlement DOES mean something.
    For the very very few of us plaintiffs who worked with experts, poured over reports and spent countless hours researching, this settlement means something. For the very very few of us plaintiffs that were in constant contact with the lawyers, who fed them research that helped shape and strengthen the most important part of this case – the QA/QC – this settlement means something. To the very few of us that went into the class action with our eyes open, knowing that our dogs would NEVER get justice from this suit because there isn’t enough money in the world to do that, because they are legally property and because, short of shutting Nestle Purina down, there is NO monetary relief that is of any significance, this settlement means we did the very best we could, given the legal system.
    The court ordered QA/QC is nothing to dismiss. The loss of revenue suffered by Nestle Purina was actually significant – not only did they lose a full 13 months of sales in the US while the product was under recall, but the number of people who have become educated about treats from China has greatly diminished sales. Waggin Train, which used to be dozens of varieties, is now THREE – and only one is from China.
    I don’t believe there is a single pet parent who paid vet bills thinking that, somewhere down the road, it would be reimbursed but I hope to hell every single penny of that fund is used up! Chump change, drop in the bucket – yes, but who gives a ****? It was never about the money – at least not for the Animal Parents admins, but I would invite you to compare this settlement to the settlement from the 2007 GIANT recall case – a care with a KNOWN adulterant. Put these cases side by side and, in the terms of settlements involving our beloved companion animals, this settlement means something – it means a lot.
    Our fight is not over. We are working hard to get section 211 of the FSMA implemented. We are moving forward on COO labeling. We are asking all pet parents to start the fight for changing how the law sees our pets – this has to happen at a state level. I hope you will support these efforts.

    Reply

    • Sorry that you feel that way. I wonder Tracey, if you have ever bothered to read the countless articles I’ve written on this topic, the campaigns I conducted to bring this tragedy to an end. I have spoken with countless government officials at the FDA/CVM, consulted with the top veterinary toxicologists, read countless medical papers on the subject, had samples tested, and confirmed that my theory that sulfonamide hypersensitivity syndrome is very likely the cause of the illness and death of thousands of American pets.

      You might have considering the context of the article, before bashing me.

      I have examined the QA/QC aspect of the settlement in detail and decided not to make an issue of it for several reasons. One of the reasons is that unfortunately, Purina is using the QA/QC aspect of the settlement to their advantage as a marketing tool, so I don’t want to give Purina any more press in that regard. It is shocking to see how Purina literally “lifted” the QA/QC terms of the settlement – word for word – and are using the terms to promote the safety of their products from China. And if no one looks to carefully at it they may actually believe it.

      I did not cover the QA/QC aspect of the settlement because I don’t see how it will be effective: There is no language in the settlement requiring third-party monitoring. And I assume that Purina will use its own labs as well? If there is no third-party to verify whether the QA/QC protocols are performed, and no one to analyze the testing methodology, the frequency of testing, the test results – how can you expect accurate and truthful reporting? It seems that all that has been “won” (if you can call it that) is that Purina will be required to monitor itself.

      Reply

  11. april 19th 2012 class action filed news media covers nationwide more complaints pour in to the fda heats on jan 2013 they find illegal antibiotics recall cost nestle/waggin train 122 million in loss sales del monte/milos 26 million and cadet 16 million also milos is made in the u.s now and petco and petsmart will stop selling treats from china all waggin train products are made in the u.s except one the jerky treat how many people do you think saw a news report on this and did not feed their dogs treats from china. all of this because a small group of people got off their ass and did something look at the big picture its not about money

    Reply

  12. Ah, Molly, I do wish you would have mentioned that in cases involving pets, there is no recovery for pain and suffering. Pets, in this nation, are considered property. They are only worth what you paid for them, paid to have them treated, euthanized, cremated, or would have to pay to replaced. The monetary amount is actually significant when all that is factored in. And more than the monetary recovery, the QA/QC requirements are HUGE. Even your co-member of your association reported, “.. “They won quality control requirements from Purina (something I’ve never seen before in a settlement) including ongoing testing of treats manufactured in China. And they won clear labeling requirements – Made in China – from Purina.”

    Note the “something I’ve never seen before” comment.

    I’m very disappointed that this article has such a negative slant to it. And I can’t help but wonder why?

    Also, revealing your sources would help your article’s credibility.

    Reply

    • My source was the 158 page settlement (link provided) and the annual financial reports of Nestle-Purina. I’m sorry you were disappointed Rita. But perhaps if you read the other articles on my site about Nestle-Purina and the many, many I have written about the jerky treat issue it is clear I am no supporter of the pet food industry.

      You see it as a victory and I see the settlement as sad. Sad for many reasons, that pets are considered property, that these pet food manufacturers operate knowing they have limited liability – hence the paltry settlement. And yes, I am perfectly aware of the limited liability for pets, which is why I always advocate changing the legal status of pets.

      You wonder why I am negative? Because I see every day how the pet food industry gets away with murder. Purina has no corporate responsibility, instead of caring about the health and safety of your pets they sent 20,000 letters to vets telling their version of the “facts” about the CJTs.

      The victory of the “Made in China” on the packaging was already a requirement – they just have to make the font size a little bigger (from 8 point to 10 point?). The testing they are required to do – is not a victory if no one is monitoring the results.

      And to put the settlement in perspective: In 2001 Purina’s annual advertising budget was $140 million. That same year they spent $30 million advertising on just one brand of pet food alone (Purina ONE), $20 million just on the dog food. So, do I think $6.5 million is a huge settlement? Absolutely not. Is the legal system fair? No.

      Rita, I hope you realize that I am on your side. I am one of the staunchest advocates for safe pet food in the country. I do this work for no pay, and I sell nothing on my website and the donations I receive are a pittance. I work very, very hard at what I do. My research is meticulous, so I am surprised that you find my article lacks “credibility”.

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    • I have followed your blog for two years. Ever since my dog Heidi died from eating two Waggin’ Train treats that came from my hand. I found APAPTMIC and saw some of your posts there. I didn’t always agree with everything you wrote but I never, ever read anything and felt personally insulted.

      I left the first comment on your article. I wrote a response in haste and in a highly emotional state. I came to your site expecting to see an upbeat commentary. Reporting that though the Giant may not be slain, we got close enough to get in a good bite!

      As I continued to read on, it seemed to me the only real point you wanted to make was that the settlement was “paltry”. That it wasn’t satisfactory. That it didn’t matter.

      Reading on to the list of each and every class representative’s name, and seeing it being pointed out each would be “paid $5000 – from that “paltry” settlement – you know, the “chump change. Well, that felt like a big ol’ kick in the gut to me. I was hurt and disappointed and confused.

      Being a writer myself I knew that challenging your sources would be irksome. That comment was left with an attitude of resentment, and it was a cheap shot. I apologize. You were, however, spot on in your response asking “Is the legal system fair?” Followed with a resounding “No.” An attorney I used to work with was fond of saying, “Fair? Fair is a place you take your pies!”

      Reply

      • Rita, I can’t tell you how sorry I am. I realize, in hindsight, that in my haste I failed to honor and give my respect to each and every plaintiff for their hard work, dedication and determination to fight Golliath. What you all did was not paltry, it is the legal system that does not recognize animals as valuable as humans. They do not have the same rights, therefore cannot be granted in a court of law anything more than the price their owner paid for them. That is tragic.

        In our society, we judge the value of something by it’s cost. In law, in order to assess damages, they use currency to decide it’s value. If we lived in a world where pets were valued for more than their property value, the settlement would have been commensurate with the loss if it were human life.

        So when the world’s largest food manufacturer agrees to pay out $6.5 million to settle a pet food complaint involving the illness and death of thousands of pets — it is a disgrace. Especially when you consider that in just one year’s time, Purina spends around $108 billion on advertising — that’s with a “b” (source: http://www.slideshare.net/caitwen12/iams-media-plan-presentation).

        I wrote you, Terry and Ray privately, and hopefully that I can repair some of the damage by covering the subject of the QA/QC aspect of the suit in detail. I have written Terry about some of the questions I have.

        Reply

  13. The amount of the settlement is the same as if we took it all the way to court and won. A fight for another day is that pets are considered property. The only thing that the court can award is to reimburse expenses. There is no loss of companionship, any pain and suffering, nothing. If we took it all the way, the cost would eat up the whole thing, it would take 2-3 years, and they would not have to agree to any of the mfg changes that are in the settlement. That is IF we could win – it is a very shaky case, we can’t even prove our case, or maybe even certify a class. According to our lawyers and NPs, the amount should be able to pay out at 100%. Not that I believe that for one single second…. And I don’t care. I would rather that ALL the uncounted victims would step forward to be heard, even if it depletes the fund. It is somewhat unprecedented that they agreed to the QA/QC requirements. That is what has always been the most important to us. That, and the publicity. We were never under the assumption that we would hurt them financially. It is literally impossible. However, it makes me so happy to think about the hundreds of millions of dollars they lost when they recalled them in January 2013!! And the public perception of settling is that they ARE admitting guilt!

    Reply

    • Thank you Terry for your comment.

      I agree it must have been a hard case, for so many reasons. And as you so wisely pointed out – they are only liable for the value paid for a pet, which of course as we all know is an utter disgrace. But that is the law today and I trust that someday that will change.

      I realize now I should have mentioned in my article the untold losses Nestle suffered as a result of the groundswell of outraged pet parents such as yourself and all the other members of the suit, the efforts of advocates like Tony Corbo and Susan, and among the many, many others that brought the awareness to the mainstream media about the toxicity of the treats. The punishing treatment Nestle received in the press and the withdrawal in January had to have deeply hurt their image and of course, their bottom line.

      How can one calculate those losses though? I just hope and pray that with our continued efforts and the continued testing of the treats will continue to keep more suspect products from being on the market, and that the added pressure of the intense media scrutiny will force pet food manufacturers to be careful in future.

      Will you keep me posted about when and how people will be able to submit a claim when all is said and done with the arrangements of the settlement? Will it be handled by a third party hired by the lead council?

      I am curious still – were any forensic toxicologists consulted about the possible cause of the illnesses due to contamination of antibiotics, etc.?

      I could go on and on…as I’m sure you can. I can’t imagine the anguish you all suffered and my heart breaks for the terrible ordeal you endured.

      I am deeply grateful to all of you for your work and steadfast commitment to bring about a better, and safer, world for our pets and their food supply. We are forever in your debt. Thank you.

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    • The public perception is muted by putting the case to bed. Nestle knows that it will leave the news soon. Settling benefits the company enormously. They are not admitting responsibility, only ceasing the process on the basis of costs, which of course is only public posturing, since cost is meaningless to a multi-billion dollar company out to protect their product at all costs. Few of the public will perceive this as Nestle “admitting guilt.” Few of the public are actually even aware of the existence of the case(s) at all. There is very little bad “publicity” for Nestle that will result from this. That is all calculated in advance by multi-billion dollar agribusiness conglomerates like Nestle. Requiring a package disclaimer “made in China” is no victory. No one reads the packaging. If they did, they might think twice about buying the product in the first place. Neither does “made in China” resonate anyway (particularly as to the font size!), it is something stamped on almost everything we buy today. I don’t believe the case was “shaky,” and the class was certified, that is part of the process. The plaintiffs had passed the test of “standing” before the court, despite being attacked on that issue. Getting a commitment for enhanced “quality control requirements” is pretty meaningless, given how it will be administered… and frankly, why is quality control testing for something that is intended to be fed to our pets something that should be forced on a multi-billion dollar company as a byproduct of a lawsuit?

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      • Peter, you are wrong on so many factual issues. But I’m not the boss of you so you post whatever you like. I just find it disturbing that you and Molly can’t seem to see anything but negative happening. I haven’t seen any other place but here where the article was slanted towards “so what?” Disturbs me.

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        • I disagree, and feel that both this article, and some comments following, have been dramatically misinterpreted.

          Many who follow the pet food industry are perpetually angry, and indignant. Often, that forms the framework for analysis. I take that label, without real remorse. There is much to be angry about. Nestle is an abhorrent business, placing profit above the health and well-being of their customers that support them. But this is hardly unique. It just represents capitalism at its worst. My criticism is quite obviously not with the litigants, but with “the system.”

          I regard those who pursued this as heroic. But then, I am desperately sorry that they were forced to be so. The horror they have experienced is something no one should have to go through. I doubt I would be able to live with that. So far, I’m lucky. I stand by my comments, but, won’t engage further.

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      • This case will not be “put to bed” When the settlement is final we will still be able to put this in public view. Mo settlement can violate our First Amendment rights, and we will not allow this to go away. Five of us are members and co-admins of “Animal Parents Against Pet Treats Made In China” We are responsible for many, not all, public knowledge of these treats for the past 2-1/2 years, and will continue to do so.

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  14. I commend the individuals involved, for pursuing this. However, I am, as in earlier cases, disturbed about the amount of the settlement, which amounts to little more than a “traffic ticket” to Nestle Purina. It’s just a cost of doing business… a “double parking” fee to deliver their junk to stores. What protects these businesses is the concept that legally, pets are just “property” to the courts.

    Reply

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