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Diamond Pet Foods reaches settlement over recall

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Diamond Pet Foods has agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit over a major cat and dog food recall.

If approved by a federal court, the settlement will provide $2 million to reimburse pet owners for the purchase price of recalled food and to cover veterinary bills for animals sickened by the recalled food, according to a website launched in March by settlement administrator Gilardi & Co. The proposed settlement also would provide $2 coupons to pet owners who bought and used the recalled food but reported no illness.

The lawsuit was filed after Diamond issued a series of recall announcements in the spring of 2012 amid concerns about Salmonella bacteria contamination at its Gaston, S.C., plant. Pet owners have attributed the death of at least five dogs and one cat and the illness of more than 50 animals to contaminated food made by Diamond. Diamond did not admit to any wrongdoing as part of the settlement.

Brands covered by the settlement include Apex, Canidae, Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul, Country Value, Diamond, Diamond Naturals, Kirkland Signature, Natural Balance, Premium Edge, Professional, 4Health, Solid Gold, Taste of the Wild and Wellness. A list of specific products included in the agreement is available here. The deadline for filing claims is July 11.

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York plans to hold a hearing Sept. 15 in Central Islip, N.Y., to consider whether the proposed settlement is fair, reasonable and adequate. The court will decide sometime after the hearing whether to approve the settlement.

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