Court Preliminarily Approves Midwestern Pet Foods Contamination Settlement
On August 21, 2023, Judge Matthew P. Brookman of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana granted final approval to a $6,375,000 settlement negotiated by Goldenberg Schneider as one of the Co-Lead Class Counsel in In re Midwestern Pet Foods Marketing, Sales Practices and Product Liability Litigation, No. 3:21-cv-00007-RLY-MPB. Midwestern Pet Foods, Inc. (“Midwestern”) is a manufacturer and seller of pet foods, including the Sportmix and Pro Pac brand pet foods.* The plaintiffs alleged that despite its representations and express warranties regarding the safety and quality of these pet foods and the manufacturing processes used to create them, Midwestern sold dog and cat food containing dangerous levels of Aflatoxin and Salmonella. Aflatoxin is a toxin produced by the mold Aspergillus flavus and can grow on corn and other grains used as ingredients in pet food. At high levels, aflatoxin can cause illness or death in pets. Pets with aflatoxin poisoning may experience symptoms such as sluggishness, loss of appetite, vomiting, jaundice (yellowish tint to the eyes, gums or skin due to liver damage), and/or diarrhea. In some cases, this toxicity can cause long-term liver issues and/or death. Some pets suffer liver damage without showing any symptoms.
With final approval granted the proposed Settlement creates a $6,375,000 Settlement Fund to compensate purchasers of the recalled pet food products for Pet Injury Claims and Consumer Food Purchaser Claims. Settlement Class members who submitted valid Pet Injury Claims are eligible to receive payments for illness, injuries or death to pets, including medical and treatment expenses, funeral/cremation costs, and other losses related to injured, sick or dead breeding animals. Settlement Class Members who submitted a valid Consumer Food Purchaser Claim supported by documentation (e.g., receipts, invoices, proof of payment) will receive a full refund, whereas Settlement Class members who submitted a valid Consumer Food Purchase Claim that is not supported by documentation will receive $25 for each bag of Midwestern Pet Products purchased, up to two bags (or up to $50). These payment amounts may be reduced depending on the number of valid claims submitted. The deadline to submit claims was August 3, 2023.
A full list of products covered by the proposed settlement can be found at https://www.mwpfsettlement.com/Home/Documents