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Pet owner unhappy with melamine-tainted petfood lawsuit settlement

A woman whose cat died from eating tainted petfood is unhappy with the settlement pet owners received compared to the compensation lawyers received in a class-action lawsuit related to the 2007 melamine-tainted petfood imported from China, NBC reported.

Kathy Forcier's cat, who died from eating "Special Kitty" food purchased at Walmart, was one of as many as 50,000 dogs and cats sickened or killed by the 2007 melamine-tainted petfood incident, in which as many as 150 petfoods produced by Menu Foods were recalled. Forcier was part of a class-action lawsuit with more than 24,000 people against Menu Foods that settled for US$24 million. Yet, she says she received a settlement check for US$58.76, about half of the cost of her cat's vet bills, while attorneys in the case received US$7.4 million.

"It was an absolute insult," said Forcier.

The lead law firm in the case, Wexler Wallace of Chicago, would not disclose a breakdown of payouts or the number of checks that were mailed to claimants in California, USA, where Forcier lives.

"Every claimant has the right to expect privacy with respect to their individual claims and I am going to respect that," said attorney Kenneth Wexler, who handled the case. "The range of recovery is not relevant."

"He didn't lose a pet," said Forcier. "He didn't lose a member of his family."

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