Harassing Phone Calls from Menu Pet Foods..
From: Dr Andrew Jones
Author: Veterinary Secrets Revealed
Re: Harassing Phone Calls from Menu Pet Foods..
Good morning fellow dog and cat owners.
I hope all of you in the USA had an enjoyable long weekend.
I just finished reading a very disturbing article about
Menu Pet Foods. They are now harassing pet owners who
have had pets die or become very ill from their toxic
Here is the article:
Court: Menu Foods harassed pet owners
By Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY
The pet food company that recalled 60 million cans of contaminated
dog and cat food repeatedly made harassing phone calls to pet owners
who had lawyers and said they didn’t want to talk, even after a judge
ordered the firm to leave them alone, court records show.
Lawyers from six firms representing clients who claim their pets were
harmed by Menu’s pet food asked a federal judge in New Jersey Wednesday
to stop Menu from “bullying” people who had called the company since the
recall was announced March 16, according to their court filing.
U.S. District Judge Noel Hillman in Camden, N.J., agreed with the plaintiffs,
describing the calls as “aggressive,” according to a transcript of the
hearing obtained by USA TODAY.
“It’s one thing for two people to sit down at the table and voluntarily
agree to settle their case. It’s another thing to harass people on weekends
through automated phone calls,” Hillman said to Edward Ruff of
Pretzel & Stouffer, Menu’s lawyer.
Hillman ordered Menu Foods to have no contact with anyone who believes
their animal was injured by its product unless a lawyer representing
them is involved.
Ontario, Canada-based Menu Foods has hired Crawford & Co., an insurance
adjustor in Atlanta, to contact pet owners who called the company to
report animal illnesses or deaths, according to the hearing transcript.
At a previous hearing on Friday, May 18, the judge had cautioned
Menu and Crawford that they should not contact people who had joined
one of the lawsuits against the company. Legally, Menu cannot contact
those plaintiffs directly but must go through their lawyers.
But in affidavits presented in court Wednesday, pet owners said they
received calls that weekend from Crawford representatives who pressed
them to answer questions even after being told the owners had hired
lawyers. In some cases, the pet owners also received multiple calls
from Crawford’s computerized phone banks after telling representatives
they were represented by attorneys, according to the affidavits.
“Menu’s representatives asked owners to sign releases which waived
their right to get advice from a lawyer,” said attorney Jay Edelson
in an interview.
His Chicago-based firm Blim & Edelson represents more than 600 pet owners.
“It appears that the company was engaging in a cynical strategy, designed
to settle some of the strongest claims cheaply and induce pet owners to
give up information it might be able to use to defend against others,”
Blim & Edelson said in a letter Friday that was sent to clients and
posted on Internet blogs for pet owners.
Ruff said in court that he told his clients about the judge’s instruction
after the May 18 hearing, but because it was the start of a holiday
weekend ????? May 21 was Victoria Day in Canada ????? the message may not have
been fully communicated, according to the transcript.
Hillman was unyielding.
“It seems to me that Menu Food is out to do whatever Menu Foods wants to
do in a way that could adversely impact the rights of possible members
of the class action suit,” he said, according to the transcript.
Calls to Ruff’s office seeking comment Friday were not returned.
Operators at Crawford directed USA TODAY to call back Tuesday
after the holiday.
Menu posted a notice on its website after the hearing, saying it
could not have direct contact with individual pet owners “for the
time being” because of the court order.
“In light of the order, we regret that we cannot communicate with
you at this time. As soon as the court permits, we intend to resume
efforts to resolve claims directly with pet owners. We will post
additional information when we are able,” the notice says.
Since mid-March, Menu has recalled wet pet food products sold under
more than 100 brand names, including Procter & Gamble’s Iams
and Wal-Mart’s Ol’ Roy.
The Food and Drug Administration has linked the contamination to
wheat flour imported from China that was tainted with the industrial
chemical melamine. The FDA’s investigation also has revealed
melamine-tainted wheat flour was mixed into pet foods made by other
companies, and animal feed and fish feed.
Although the FDA has not provided an official count of pet deaths
associated with the recall, it has said unconfirmed reports
received from pet owners total more than 4,000 deaths.
Menu is facing dozens of lawsuits stemming from the recall.
This week a federal multi-district litigation panel will meet
in Las Vegas to determine which district court will hear the
cases against Menu. The panel is expected to announce a
decision by mid-summer.
P.S. I have prepared an in depth report on this whole Pet Food
crisis..you’ll get all the facts, including home diets that
you can make at home.
It’s Your Pet- Heal Them At Home!
Dr Andrew Jones
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