The Work

May 23, 2008 1:30 PM

Massive Pet Food Recall Lawsuit Settles

Posted by Andrew Longstreth

Remember the big pet food recall of about a year ago? Well, a settlement between pet owners and several companies has been reached, according to a joint motion filed in New Jersey federal court Thursday. The terms of the deal provide that the companies will set aside $24 million for settlement class members. The settlement must be approved by the court.

It looked like a major case when the recall--the largest in history, involving approximately 180 brands of pet food and pet treats--was issued in March 2007. The matter attracted media attention and scrutiny from federal regulators and Congress, and dozens of class actions were filed in federal and state court, alleging, among other things, violation of consumer protection laws.

But after the cases were consolidated, formal mediation between the parties began. According to court documents, more than ten days of mediation were held. Little appeared to take place in the courtroom. A class was never certified, for example.

The settlement motion doesn't mention how much the plaintiffs' attorneys will collect. Those listed on the settlement document include: Lisa Rodriguez of Trujillo Rodriguez & Richards; Kenneth Wexler of Wexler Toriseva Wallace; Sherrie Sherrie Savett of Berger & Montague; William Audet of Audet & Partners; Scott Kamber of Kamber Edelson; Stuart Davidson of Couglin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins; and Stuart Berman of Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro.

On the defense side, Amy Schulman of DLA Piper represented Menu Foods; Craig Hoover of Hogan & Hartson represented Nestle Purina PetCare Company; D. Jeffrey Ireland of Faruki, Ireland & Cox represented The Iams Company; and Mark Goodman of Squire Sanders & Dempsey represented Petco Animal Supplies, Inc., Target Corp., and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

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