Diamond Pet Food and Costco have begun paying settlements to Canadian pet owners who say their pets required screening and/or treatment, or the pets died, after they were exposed to Salmonella in 2011 and 2012, according to a report from Food Safety News.
A class action lawsuit was filed against Diamond Pet Foods and its distributor, Costco, after pet illnesses and some deaths occurred. While admitting no liability, the companies agreed to settle the lawsuit to avoid lengthy litigation. The settlement was announced in March 2016.
Attorney Jeff Ornstein, who heads the class action firm, Consumer Law Group, said in a report from LawyersandSettlements.com that Costco is notifying 115,000 customers who purchased the pet food by an automated phone call, announcing that the settlement is available.
In order to be eligible to receive payment, consumers must have purchased Diamond Pet Food, recalled on April 6, 26 or 30, 2012, or on May 4-5, 2012, and did not return or exchange the product, and did not already sign a release with Diamond or Costco.
The amount of payment a consumer may receive depends on the damages sustained. Amounts vary from the cost of replacing the pet food to larger amounts, such as to cover the costs of veterinary care, or costs related to the death of the animal.
The class action filing says one consumer’s dog became extremely ill after eating Kirkland Signature Super Premium Adult Dog Lamb, Rice & Vegetable Formula – a Diamond Pet Food Brand made for Costco – and required treatment and lab tests by a veterinarian.
The companies told the consumer about the Salmonella contamination but would not compensate the consumer for the veterinary bills because the consumer did not have an empty bag or proof of purchase for the dog food, according to the Food Safety News report.
Consumers with pets that consumed the recalled Diamond Pet Food products and did not suffer health consequences are eligible for refunds with a sworn statement of claim available on the claims website, according to the LawersandSettlements.com report.