Result: $24 million settlement
In re Pet Food Products Liability Litigation
Lieff Cabraser and co-counsel filed a nationwide class action lawsuit on behalf of pet owners against pet food manufacturer Menu Foods, Inc. The pet owners alleged that there were thousands of pets throughout the United States who ingested Menu Foods’ products and as a result became ill and/or died, causing their owners to incur substantial emotional distress as well as veterinary costs and related expenses.
Plaintiffs’ Factual Allegations
The complaint alleged that Menu Foods sold and distributed pet food that contained toxic substances for animals, including wheat gluten, which can cause liver and kidney dysfunction and failure, vomiting, jaundice, loss of appetite, and other health problems, including the death of the pet.
The complaint also alleged that Menu Foods failed to adequately notify consumers of the danger of their contaminated pet food even after injuries to and deaths of pets were reported by their owners.
Menu Foods has admitted that certain of their products were defective and caused injury and death to household pets. Plaintiffs alleged that Menu Foods either knew or should have known that their products were defective and presented a serious risk to the health and safety of animals prior to their recall.
The Class in the Menu Foods Litigation
The plaintiffs brought the class action on behalf of themselves and all persons in the United States who purchased or incurred damages by the use of pet food produced, manufactured and/or distributed by Menu Foods that was or will be recalled, including that produced from December 3, 2006 to March 6, 2007.
Plaintiffs sought a court-approved and supervised emergency notice warning plaintiffs and class members to immediately cease the use of Menu Foods’ products, including the provision of information on diagnosis and treatment of injuries, and an immediate removal of all potentially harmful products. Plaintiffs also sought actual and compensatory damages and out-of-pocket costs, including reimbursement of money spent on Menu Foods’ defective products.
The case settled for $24 million in 2008.