Sacramento, CA LAWFUEL – March 29, 2007 — the law firms Wexler Toriseva Wallace LLP and Kershaw Cutter & Ratinoff LLP filed the first California class action complaint amidst the largest pet food recall in U.S. history. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of consumers nationwide, alleging that Menu Foods, Inc., Menu Foods Income Fund, and Menu Foods Midwest Corp. (“Menu Foods”) manufactured and sold poisoned pet food products, and failed to inform customers that these products were toxic, and potentially lethal, to their pets. The lawsuit seeks recovery of all financial loss associated with the recall, including veterinary bills and food replacement costs. The class action complaint was filed in Los Angeles federal court (Case No. CV 07-01958 GHK (AJWx).
Menu Foods has recalled approximately 60 million containers of pet food and close to 100 different brands of “cuts and gravy” (pet food consisting of pieces of meat in gravy) style dog and cat food, including popular labels such as Iams, Eukanuba, and Science Diet. The lawsuit alleges that pets eating Menu Foods products have been stricken with severe kidney disorders and have demonstrated symptoms such as dehydration, diarrhea, loss of appetite, increased thirst, lethargy, and vomiting. Many pets have died. The lawsuit further alleges that pet owners around the country have spent as much as several thousand dollars each in veterinary expenses to treat their pets, sometimes over multiple visits, for illness relating to kidney failure. Still other pet owners have incurred additional costs relating to the death of their pets, including costs for euthanasia, burial, and cremation.
thousands of consumers are frantically seeking medical attention for their pets, and many pets have died. So far, Menu Foods’ management of the crisis has been ineffective. Our firm is dedicated to ensuring an adequate response by the company, and obtaining relief for consumers.
The complaint alleges that significant harm to pets and the expenses incurred by their owners could have been avoided had Menu Foods been more diligent and taken more responsibility for informing the public and regulatory agencies about the dangers associated with its products. The lawsuit alleges that consumers informed Menu Foods that its products were harmful to pets , and potentially lethal, as early as late-February. Yet, the complaint alleges Menu Foods responded to these concerns by first conducting its own tests, waiting until as many as 1 in 6 animal subjects had died – seven animals – before informing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of its findings and announcing a nationwide recall to the public.
The lawsuit alleges that since announcing the recall, consumers have been unable to reach Menu Foods’ customer representatives over advertised toll free numbers. Instead, many customers are getting busy signals and message recordings.
According to Mark J. Tamblyn, a partner in Wexler Toriseva Wallace’s Sacramento office, “thousands of consumers are frantically seeking medical attention for their pets, and many pets have died. So far, Menu Foods’ management of the crisis has been ineffective. Our firm is dedicated to ensuring an adequate response by the company, and obtaining relief for consumers.”
Veterinary professionals are recommending that all animals known to have ingested recalled foods be examined immediately. The law firms are also urging consumers who possess recalled food or suspect their pet has consumed any of the recalled food to consider the recommendations recently provided by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). This information is available at http://www.avma.org/press/releases/070319_petfoodrecall.asp.
Wexler Toriseva Wallace LLP (http://www.wtwlaw.us) is a national leader in prosecuting class actions and other complex litigation on behalf of consumer and business clients in state and federal courts throughout the United States. The firm is based in Chicago, Illinois and maintains additional offices in California and West Virginia and an affiliate office Beijing, China.
Contact: Mark J. Tamblyn (916) 568-1100.
Kershaw Cutter & Ratinoff LLP (http://www.kcrlegal.com) represents a wide range of individuals and businesses in class actions and other complex litigation in state and federal courts across the nation. This firm is based in Sacramento, California. Contact: Stuart C. Talley (916) 448-9800.