1. The law firms of Sutts, Strosberg LLP, Falconer Charney LLP, Hilborn & Konduros, Himelfarb Proszanski LLP, Hotz Lawyers and Rochon Genova LLP have been prosecuting a class action against Menu Foods Operating Limited Partnership, Menu Foods, Inc., Menu Foods Midwest Corporation and Menu Foods Limited (Ontario) (the "defendants") in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. The action was commenced in conjunction with law firms across Canada including Branch MacMaster, Pollock & Company, Barry Spalding Lawyers, Wagners Law Firm, Docken & Company and by Merchant Law Group.
2. The Ontario action was commenced on behalf of all persons in Canada who purchased or acquired dog and/or cat food in Canada and/or owned a dog or cat that consumed food that was included in the March 16, 2007 recall as amended from time-to-time issued by the defendants (the "Class Members"). For a list of the brand and varieties of pet food that were included in Menu Food's recall (the "Recalled Pet Food"), please visit www.menufoods.com/recall.
3. After a series of mediations conducted since October 26, 2007, the parties have reached a proposed settlement of all claims relating to the manufacture, distribution or sale of the Recalled Pet food. The proposed settlement encompasses 180 brands of pet food and pet treats produced by twelve different manufacturers, including the Menu Foods group of companies and distributed, marketed and sold by dozens of retailers.
4. The proposed settlement provides for the creation of a $24 million settlement fund, which will be used to pay for the economic losses sustained by those who purchased the recalled pet food or fed it to their pets. While losses supported by documents will be compensated more fully, the settlement also provides for some payment for certain undocumented economic losses, subject to review and decision by the Claims Administrator. Any money left over after all claims are paid will be donated to animal welfare charities in Canada and in the U.S.
5. The proposed settlement does not provide any compensation for non-economic losses. The proposed settlement provides that all Class Members who do not opt out of the proposed settlement will release and will be barred from bringing any proceeding, claim or action, including claims for non-economic losses against the defendants and others, including entities not named as defendants that are involved in the manufacture, distribution or sale of the Recalled Pet Food. A list of the entities and the claims that will be released under the proposed settlement is available here.
6. In order to become effective, the proposed settlement must be approved by all Canadian courts where actions were commenced, and by a United States District Court. The final hearings to approve the settlement will take place on October 14, 2008 (in the U.S.) and on November 3, 2008 (in courts across Canada).
7. Ward Branch and Luciana Brasil of Branch MacMaster will be responsible for managing approval of the settlement across Canada.
8. If you support the proposed settlement, you do not have to appear at the final approval hearings. If the courts approve the proposed settlement, you will be bound by all the courts’ orders, the release and other provisions of the settlement agreement. This means you will give up any legal rights you may have against defendants and other released entities and individuals covered by the settlement, regardless of whether you file a claim or not.
9. If you wish to make a claim under the settlement, you must complete, sign, and return a claim form, along with any accompanying documentation, to the Claims Administrator which is set out below. You may obtain a Claim Form by calling the toll-free number 1-800-392-7785 or by visiting the website www.petfoodsettlement.com. You may also obtain a Claim Form by clicking here: (English) (French).
10. Claim Forms submitted by Canadian residents must be postmarked, faxed or emailed no later than January 2, 2009. Claims may be submitted now, but if the proposed settlement is not approved by the courts, the claims will not be paid. If the proposed settlement is approved, claims will begin to be processed and paid in accordance with the terms of the settlement agreement.
11. If you do not wish to be a member of the class action or you do not wish to be bound by the terms of the proposed settlement, including the release, or you wish to advance your own lawsuit at your own expense you must submit an opt out request with your name, address and telephone number to the Claims Administrator at the address listed beloww, postmarked no later than September 13, 2008. Further information regarding the procedure to opt out is available at www.petfoodsettlement.com, or by contacting the Claims Administrator at 1-800-392-7785. If you request to be excluded from the class action, you cannot make a claim in, or object to, this settlement.
13. For more information, you can visit the settlement website: www.petfoodsettlement.com, or contact the Claims Administrator at:
In Re Pet Food Products Liability Litigation Claims Administrator