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Users of Blue Buffalo Pet Food or Treats may be Eligible for a Refund

Users of Blue Buffalo Pet Food or Treats may be Eligible for a Refund

If you bought Blue Buffalo pet food or treats for your dog or cat, you may be entitled to a cash refund from a Blue Buffalo class action settlement.

Blue Buffalo Pet Products will pay $32 million into a settlement fund to resolve accusations that its pet food labeling falsely claimed the products contained no chicken/poultry by-product meals, corn, wheat or soy, or artificial preservatives.

The class action lawsuit on behalf of consumers was prompted by a lawsuit filed against Blue Buffalo by its competitor Nestle Purina PetCare Company, which alleged that testing conducted by an independent laboratory revealed that several of Blue Buffalo’s top-selling “Life Protection” pet food products contained significant percentages of poultry by-product meal, contrary to Blue Buffalo’s promotion, advertising and packaging that states that its pet food products contain “NO Chicken/Poultry By-Product Meals.” Nestle Purina has since expanded its lawsuit to include false marketing claims regarding Blue Buffalo pet treats and cat litter.

Blue Buffalo has denied any wrongdoing, but announced in December 2015 that it agreed to the settlement to eliminate the uncertainties, burden and expense of further litigation.

“More than a year ago, we informed our Pet Parents about the misconduct of a former ingredient supplier and a broker. While we will continue to pursue our claims against them, we decided that it is in the best interest of our Pet Parents and our company to resolve the class actions now. All of us at Blue Buffalo continue to work tirelessly to make pet food with the finest natural ingredients for our furry family members,” said Bill Bishop, chairman and founder of Blue Buffalo.

Consumers who purchased Blue Buffalo dry or wet dog food, dry or wet cat food, as well as dog or cat treats on this list may be eligible to file for a refund at the website below in the Legal Notice.

The following statement was issued by Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP regarding the Blue Buffalo class action settlement.

LEGAL NOTICE

If you purchased Blue Buffalo pet foods, you may be entitled to a Cash Refund from a class action settlement.

A proposed settlement has been reached in a class action lawsuit claiming Blue Buffalo Company, Ltd. (“Blue Buffalo”) pet foods (the “Products”) labeling was false and deceptive and that it falsely claimed that the Products do not include chicken/poultry by-product meals, corn, wheat or soy, or artificial preservatives. Blue Buffalo stands by its labeling and denies it did anything wrong. However, Blue Buffalo has settled to avoid the cost and distraction of litigation.

Who is a Class Member? You’re a Class Member if you purchased any of the Blue Buffalo Products in the United States from May 7, 2008 through December 18, 2015.  A complete list of eligible Blue Buffalo Products is found on the website below.

What does the settlement provide? Settlement funds of up to $32,000,000 will be made available to partially reimburse Class Members for the Products they purchased and to pay legal fees of not more than $8,000,000, and expenses and administrative costs of not more than $1,400,000. Blue Buffalo has also agreed to review specifications for all Blue Buffalo Products to ensure that they are consistent with all packaging claims found on the product and representations regarding the products found on the Blue Buffalo Website, and to review its supplier relationships and institute practices designed to ensure that all materials provided by its suppliers comply with the applicable product specifications.

Class Members may choose one of the following options:

Option 1: Settlement Class Members must complete a Claim Form.  If you do not have valid Proof of Purchase you must (i) confirm under penalty of perjury that you purchased one or more Blue Buffalo Products during the Settlement Class Period and (ii) state the total amount of money that you spent on Blue Buffalo Products during the Settlement Class Period. For each $50 in purchases, eligible Class Members will receive $5.00 in the form of a cash payment up to a total of $10. A Settlement Class Member who confirms that they purchased one or more Blue Buffalo Products but did not spend at least $50 will be entitled to receive a $5.00 cash payment;

Option 2: Settlement Class Members who complete the Claim Form and provide valid Proof of Purchase, shall receive $5.00 in the form of a cash payment for each $50 in purchases of the Blue Buffalo Products up to a total recovery of $200.

If the total value of claims submitted exceeds or falls short of the balance remaining in the Settlement Fund, then the compensation provided to each Settlement Class Member shall be reduced or increased pro rata.

Class Members must mail or submit a completed claim form online www.petfoodsettlement.com by April 14, 2016.

What are my Options?

Do nothing: you will not receive money but you will be bound by the decisions of the Court regarding these claims, including certain releases of Blue Buffalo. Exclude yourself: you will maintain your right to sue Blue Buffalo about the legal claims in this case. To exclude yourself, you must do so in writing by April 14, 2016.  If you exclude yourself you will not receive money from this settlement. Object: you may write to the Court and say why you don’t like the Settlement. The objection deadline is April 14, 2016.

The Court will hold a fairness hearing at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, May 19, 2016, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, 111 South 10th Street, St. Louis, Missouri 63102 in Courtroom 16 South to determine the fairness, adequacy, and reasonableness of the Settlement, to consider whether to approve the Settlement, and to consider a request by Class Counsel for payment of attorneys’ fees and costs and class representative incentive awards. The motion for attorneys’ fees and costs and plaintiff incentive awards will be posted on the website after they are filed. You may appear at the hearing, but you don’t have to.

This is only a summary.  For complete details, including a list of affected products, a claim form, and detailed court documents and other information, call toll-free 1(844) 245-3772, visit www.petfoodsettlement.com by April 14, 2016, or write to Blue Buffalo Settlement c/o Heffler Claims Group, P.O. Box 58730, Philadelphia, PA 19102-8730.

About Candice Fitzgibbons

I am a Sevier County resident and active in my local community. I’ve spent more than 20 years as a graphic designer and copywriter, creating marketing materials to help small to medium sized businesses and non-profit organizations achieve their goals. I have a passion for equality, the environment and animal rights.