“Costco is now in the process of making 115,000 automated phone calls to people Costco knows bought Diamond Pet Food,” says lawyer Jeff Orenstein from the Consumer Law Firm in Ottawa. It was Orenstein’s firm that headed up the class action in Canada on behalf of lead plaintiffs in the case.
“They are making those calls as we speak,” he adds.
Although the respondents in the class action admit no liability, Diamond Pet Food and Costco have agreed to make payments to claimants in order to settle the class-action suit in a speedy fashion, according to the information provided on the claims website.
The amount of payment depends on the damages sustained and varies from the cost of replacing the pet food to larger amounts to cover the costs of veterinary care, or costs related to the death of the animal.
Those eligible are consumers who purchased Diamond Pet Food, which was recalled on April 6, April 26, April 30, and May 4 and May 5 of 2012, providing they did not return the product to the dealer, did not exchange the product and did not sign a release in favor of the defendants.
According to the statement of claim, the plaintiffs fed their dog Kirkland Signature Super Premium Adult Dog Lamb, Rice & Vegetable Formula purchased from Costco in Barrie, Ontario.
In March of 2012, the dog became extremely ill. The dog was vomiting, had runny diarrhea, became dehydrated and lost consciousness. They rushed the dog to the nearest veterinarian for treatment and tests. The dog was discharged with no known case. The bill for the dog’s care was close to $1,500. A few weeks later, Costco contacted the plaintiffs to say that they may have purchased salmonella-contaminated pet food.
Although Costco told the plaintiffs that they would refund the cost of the pet food, it ultimately refused because the plaintiffs had no bills or pet food bags.
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Consumers with animals who consumed Diamond Pet Food recalled on the above dates but with no health consequences are eligible for refunds with a sworn statement of claim available on the claims website - no bill is required.
Consumers whose animals suffered more serious consequences are required to submit more detailed claims with bills for veterinarian services and submit sworn statements.