Week Adjourned: 4.20.12 – Purina Dog Treats, FEMA Trailers, Allstate Insurance

The weekly wrap on top class action lawsuits and settlements for the week ending April 20, 2012. Top stories include Purina dog treats, Allstate Insurance and Hurricane Katrina FEMA trailers.

And this week—it’s business behaving badly…

Top Class Actions

If you have a dog, read this… A $5 million defective products class action lawsuit has been filed against Nestlé Purina Petcare Co, alleging the company’s Waggin’ Train Yam Good chicken-wrapped treats causes kidney failure in dogs.

The Waggin’ Train Yam Good dog treats lawsuit, filed by Dennis Adkins from Illinois, claims his 9-year-old Pomeranian dog became sick and died from kidney failure three days after eating Waggin’ Train Yam Good chicken-wrapped treats. Adkins said he didn’t give his dog more than the recommended one treat per day, and his other dog did not eat the treats and didn’t get sick. Walmart, where the dog treats were sold, is also a defendant in the lawsuit.

As reported by Reuters Legal, in 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a cautionary warning to consumers about a potential link between dog illnesses and chicken jerky-based products imported from China. None of the products were recalled, and no specific brands were mentioned in the FDA warning. Unbelievable? No, sadly not.

Top Settlements

The fallout from Hurricane Katrina just goes on and on…this week, a $14 million settlement was reached in the defective products Hurricane Katrina FEMA trailer class action brought by victims of Hurricane Katrina against 21 companies who manufactured those infamous FEMA trailers.

The companies manufactured government-issued trailers for storm victims after Hurricane Katrina, and the FEMA trailer lawsuit claims that those trailers contained hazardous materials. As a consequence, the occupants were exposed to toxic fumes.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs told media on Tuesday that the trailer manufacturers or their insurers will pay a total of $14.8 million to resolve the claims without any admission of wrongdoing. The proposed settlement could benefit tens of thousands of Gulf Coast residents who lived in the travel trailers, which were provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) after hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, the Associated Press reports.

Early Bird Renewals Catch Bad Faith Insurance Settlement at Allstate. A proposed settlement has been reached this week in a bad faith insurance class action that accuses Allstate of deceptive business practices.

What did they do, you ask? Well allegedly, Allstate Insurance Company and Allstate Indemnity Company (collectively “Allstate”) sent their motor vehicle insureds deceptive motor vehicle insurance renewal bills in order to induce Allstate’s insureds to pay their renewal premium in full a month before the were premiums were actually due.

If you are affected by this potential settlement, you can find out more here. If you have received a Notice, Allstate’s records indicate you are a member of the class.

The Court has given its preliminary approval to the Settlement, and has ordered that a Notice be sent to all Settlement Class Members. Under the terms of the settlement a sum of $2,727,555 would be provided to pay for claims to those class memers who submit valid claims. The payment amount will consist of 30 days of interest at an annual rate of 7 percent simple interest on the payments of the stated “pay in full” amounts that you made on or before the “due date” indicated on the bill.

The judge presiding over this case has deemed that everyone who fits this description is a class member: all Allstate California motor vehicle insureds who from January 1, 2002 through December 31, 2005 received Allstate motor vehicle insurance renewal bills indicating a “due date” for payment approximately one month before the date the policy was to renew, and who paid the stated “pay in full” amount on or before the “due date” on the bill.

And on that happy note—that’s a wrap. I hear the ice-cubes calling my name…