Diamond Pet Foods has agreed to a $3.1 million settlement in a lawsuit relevant to product contamination that apparently led to illness and deaths of dogs in late 2005.
The dogs had eaten Diamond products that contained aflatoxin, a toxic byproduct of the growth of certain fungi on corn and other food crops. The company issued a broad recall of the suspect products at the time (see JAVMA, Feb. 1, 2006).
The recent legal settlement, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Knoxville, provides for Diamond to pay a total of up to $3.1 million to customers who purchased products subject to the recall and to pet owners whose dogs sustained injury from eating the company's products.
Customers who did not return products subject to recall can still receive a refund for up to two bags of food. Pet owners who incurred veterinary bills as a result of Diamond products can receive reimbursement for aflatoxin-specific testing and treatment, not to exceed $200 for testing or $1,000 for testing and treatment. Pet owners whose dogs died can receive a payment for the market value of the animal, not to exceed $1,000.
Diamond and its insurance company already had resolved about 1,200 claims for compensation for products, veterinary bills, and pet deaths prior to the settlement.
Additional information and claim forms are available by calling (800) 960-6651 or visiting www.recalledpetfoodsettlement.com. All claims must have a postmark of April 15 or earlier.