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MIAMI, Fla. - On the heels of a national uproar over a prolonged, widely spread pet food recall, a nationwide class action lawsuit was filed against major pet food brands and retailers.
A cat and dog owner from Michigan and two cat and dog owners from Florida filed the suit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida here. Among the defendants it names are retailers Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Target Corp., Publix Supermarkets, Winn Dixie Stores and other grocery chains as manufacturers and marketers of their own brand pet food; and Petco Animal Supplies, Pet Supermarket, Inc., and Petsmart Inc. It also names Nutro Products, Inc., Menu Foods, Mars, Inc., Proctor and Gamble Co., Colgate Palmolive Co., Del Monte Foods, and Nestle U.S.A. Inc.
The lawsuit was filed by attorney Catherine J. MacIvor of the Miami litigation law firm of Maltzman Foreman, PA. "The melamine debacle is not the only serious problem with pet food," said MacIvor. "The number and frequency of lethal pet food recalls in the last few years clearly shows the seriousness and extent of this problem."
The 58-page lawsuit alleges that "pet food companies market their products as wholesome, choice cuts of meat, natural and complete and balanced diets even though they are fully aware that this food is largely carbohydrates and sugars combined with toxic preservatives and additives with very little to no meat at all."
The lawsuit seeks damages to consumers for the false representations made in the defendants' advertising as well as punitive damages.
The defendants targeted in the complaint produce pet foods under a wide array of brands and names including: Pedigree, Sheba, Goodlife Recipe, Royal Canine, Iams, Eukanuba, Science Diet, Prescription Diet, 9 Lives, Amore, Gravy Train, Kibbles-n-Bits and Nature's Recipe, Snausages, Milk Bone, Pup-Peroni, Meaty Bone, Canine's Carry Outs, Jerky Treats, Wagwells, Alpo, Beneful, Beggin' Strips, Dog, Cat, Puppy and Kitten Chow, Fancy Feast, Friskies, Mighty Dog, Deli-Cat, Pro Plan, Purina One, Natural Choice Dog and Cat Products, Max Dog Products, Max Cat Gourmet Classics, Natural Choice Complete Care for cats, Ultra Products for dogs, Americas Choice Preferred Pets, Authority, Award, Best Choice, Big Bet, Big Red, Cadillac, Companion, Compliments, Demoulus Market Basket, Eukanuba, Fine Feline Cat, Food Lion, Food Town, Giant Companion, Hannaford, Hill Country Fare, Hy-Vee, Iams, J.E. Mondou, Laura Lynn, Li'l Red, Loving Meals, Medi-Cal, Meijer's Main Choice, Mighty Dog Pouch, Mixables, Natural Life, Nutriplan, Nutro Max, Nutro Max Gourmet Classics, Nutro Natural Choice, Ol' Roy, Paws, Pet Essentials, Pet Pride, President's Choice, Price Chopper, Priority US, Publix, Roche Brothers, Save-a-Lot Special Blend, Schnucks, Science Diet Feline Savory Cuts Cans, Sophistacat, Special Kitty, Springfield Prize, Sprout, Stop and Shop Companion, Tops Companion, Wegmans, Weis Total Pet, Western family US, White Rose, Winn Dixie, Your Pet, LifeLong, Ol' Roy, and Special Kitty brands of pet food.
The lawsuit alleges, among other claims, that the pet food companies have fraudulently and/or negligently misrepresented and concealed what is actually in their pet foods, violated deceptive and unfair trade practices, and failed to warn the public of the health risks to animals associated with a diet consisting of their commercial pet foods.
A copy of the complaint and supporting research materials is available at www.mflegal.com/petfoodlawsuit.