Blue Buffalo has reached a class action settlement after being sued for false labeling. Testing of their food revealed that by-product meal was used in “a ‘substantial’ and ‘material’ portion of their pet food.” Even though Blue Buffalo’s advertising and marketing campaigns – including labels on their products – said they did not.
“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.” (petfoodsettlement.com)
While Blue Buffalo admitted in 2015 to the use of the by-products, they were quick to blame their suppliers and deny any wrongdoing, and still continue to so, even after reaching a settlement:
“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. (BlueBuffalo.com)
Customer To Receive Refunds
The settlement amounted to $32 million, which includes money to reimburse customers who purchased product, $8 million for legal fees and administrative costs of not more than $1.4 million. According to the documents:
“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.”
Consumers who purchased Blue Buffalo In the United States from May 7, 2008 through December 18, 2015, can request a refund. If you have a receipt, you can get up to a 10 percent refund (max $200). No receipt gets you just $10. Not very much considering the price you were paying for their supposedly high-quality ingredients, with some bags as much as $75 retail.
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.
An important note: should you want to exclude yourself from this case (in order to sue Blue Buffalo separately), you must do so IN WRITING by the above date as well. Otherwise, even if you do not submit a claim, you will be considered part of the case and will be unable to file suit individually.