Pet Food Litigation Finally Over
After a lengthy evidentiary hearing in February, Judge Noel Hillman issued an order and opinion again giving final approval to the settlement initially reached in May, 2008. Objectors had appealed that portion of Judge Hillman’s initial decision approving an allocation of $250,000 of the $24 million settlement to claimants’ food purchases. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals approved the settlements in all other respects, but remanded the matter to Judge Hillman for a further hearing on the factual basis for the $250,000 allocation. The parties submitted evidence and otherwise demonstrated full compliance with the standards governing class-action settlement approval, and Judge Hillman agreed, issuing judgment on April 11, 2011. With no appeals this time, the judgment has become final. The settlement administrator is completing its work adjusting the various claims and hopes to be issuing checks to aggrieved pet owners in the near future.