Pet Food Company Faces Class Action Lawsuit Over Toxic Levels of Vitamin D That Led to Pet Illnesses and Deaths
One of multiple lawsuits filed against Hill Pet Nutrition alleges that the company dragged its feet in recalling its canned dog food with potentially toxic levels of vitamin D, leading to the deaths and illnesses of numerous dogs. According to a CBS news report, Hill manufactured and sold the Specialty Dog Food products to tens of thousands of consumers. The lawsuit filed in New York cited the companies recall of 13.5 million cans of dog food in presenting its case as a class action, filed on behalf of a group of affected pet owners.
The lawsuit is among several filed since Hill issued the recall in late January. Grief-stricken dog owners who lost their pets to these dangerous and defective products took to social media to tell their heartbreaking stories. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said nine companies that have issued recalls for dry food share a common contract manufacturer. It also noted that one brand had cited a “formulation error.” The FDA said the recalled dry food was produced by Sunshine Mills.
The lawsuits state the company issued the recalls long after dogs had died as a result of toxic levels of vitamin D in these pet food products. The lawsuits also say that the companies involved did not let consumers know in time, which could have prevented a number of tragic pet deaths. One court filing noted that the lethal nature of the dog foods compounded by Hill’s “excessive and unwarranted delay in warning consumers and regulatory agencies of the dangers posed by these products” caused a number of pet owners significant emotional distress and financial losses.
Hill’s has disputed the notion that it delayed warning consumers. A spokesperson told CBS the company monitors consumer complaints and saw no trends beginning in February 2018 that would have alerted them to the issue. The FDA has gotten a number of reports since the Hill’s recall and is in the process of verifying those complaints.
Justice for Those Affected
Other lawsuits filed against Hill’s this month include a complaint on behalf of a Florida couple whose rescue dog was poisoned by the toxic dog food, and had to be put down in January, days before the recall. A class action lawsuit was filed in San Francisco against the company as well.
As California class action attorneys, our hearts go out to these dog owners who have suffered the sudden and horrific loss of their pets. As pet owners, we hope the food we provide them would nourish our pets and make them healthier. These companies had the responsibility to inform consumers about these dangerous and defective products in a timely manner.