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You can track developments in major class-action lawsuits

By Karen Datko Sep 27, 2009 1:59PM

Remember that tainted-pet food scare? It's time to file a claim to benefit from a class-action lawsuit settlement if that consumer-safety debacle affected you and your cats and dogs.


There's also good news for those who purchased department store cosmetics over a somewhat recent nine-year period. As a result of another settlement, many stores will be handing out freebies like perfume and makeup. 

We know these things because we've begun reading a very helpful Web site called Not only can you find out how and where to file your claim, but these folks explain the legal intricacies of each class-action suit in a way that regular people can understand.


They're obviously also pet lovers. Under a "TCA Staff Tidbit" on the pet food lawsuit page, they wrote, "This is definitely a heart-wrenching lawsuit settlement. We here at express our deepest sympathies to those who had beloved pets affected by the contaminated food."


They also explain that any funds left over after the claims are paid will go to U.S. and Canadian charities that help unwanted or abused pets, adding, "Please don't submit false claims; each organization below could use every penny that's left over from the settlement fund."


Once attorneys' fees are subtracted, $16.5 million is available for claimants in the pet food case. Go to to file a claim for the costs of the food, vet bills and other related expenses.


For instance, you can file if your pet became ill or died because of the contaminated food. You can file even if you took your pet to the vet to be checked out and Bouncer or Angel was found to be healthy. If you're seeking compensation for a purebred pet, you have to be ready to provide the pet's papers.


The settlement of a price-fixing lawsuit against makers of makeup and fragrances and the department stores that sold them requires them to give away $175 million in cosmetics, each with a retail value between $18 and $25. "It's a doozy in the amount of stuff being given away, but first-come, first-served. Keep that in mind," advises. They should go fast.


You're eligible if you purchased one of the defendants' products at one of the listed stores between May 29, 1994, and July 16, 2003. The giveaway will happen in January. Sign up at and/or the lawsuit administrators' Web site to receive updates.


To get your free item, you'll just need to go to the store and sign a form saying you'd bought one of the products.


Published Oct. 9, 2008 



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