UPDATE 6/2/2014: Nestle Purina and Waggin’ Train have agreed to settle three class action lawsuits alleging their jerky treats made in China have caused pets to get sick and/or die. The companies have agreed to create a $6.5 million settlement fund to compensate Class Members who believe their pets were harmed by the jerky treats. Click here for more information: http://www.topclassactions.
UPDATE 3: An appeal to the dog treat class action settlement was dismissed on Dec. 10, 2015, meaning that checks may soon be mailed to Class Members who filed valid claims.
A grieving pet owner has filed a $5 million class action lawsuit against Nestle Purina and Wal-Mart, claiming his dog died after eating Waggin’ Train “Yam Good” dog treats.
Dennis Adkins claims in the Nestle Purina class action lawsuit that he purchased the Waggin’ Train brand treats from Wal-Mart in March and fed the chicken jerky treats, which are made in China, to his 9-year-old Pomeranian. After three days of eating the treats, his dog became sick. She later died of kidney failure 11 days later.
“Waggin’ Train has spent millions of dollars in promoting trust and confidence among consumers in its pet food products,” Adkins says in the class action lawsuit. “The product was not wholesome, was not nutritious and was unhealthy.”
Adkins says he didn’t give the dog more than the recommended one treat per day, and that, other than feeding her the treats, he didn’t change her diet. He also says his other dog did not eat the treats and did not get sick.
This is not the first time that Chinese-made chicken jerky treats have come under fire.
The Food and Drug Administration has been investigating a possible link between dog illnesses and chicken jerky treats made in China since 2007, and has urged pet owners to use caution when feeding dogs these products.
The latest warning came last November when the agency warned consumers that some pet owners and veterinarians have reported cases involving dogs falling ill after eating Chinese-made chicken jerky treats. While most dogs have recovered, some deaths have been reported.
According to the FDA’s website, the illness affects the kidneys, and symptoms include decreased activity, vomiting, diarrhea and increased water consumption and urination.
None of the products were recalled, and no specific brands were mentioned in the FDA warning.
In light of these repeated FDA warnings, Adkins says Nestle Purina and Wal-Mart knew that the dog treats posed a substantial health-risk to pets yet still manufactured and sold them. He alleges Nestle Purina knew of more than 500 cases of pets falling ill after consuming chicken jerky treats imported from China.
“Thousands of persons purchased the dog treats at issue, and hundreds of dogs died as a result,” Adkins says in the class action lawsuit.
He is seeking compensatory and punitive damages for a proposed class of anyone who bought Nestle Purina or Waggin’ Train-brand dog treats containing chicken imported from China in the past four years, and a sub-class of those who made the purchases from Wal-Mart.
The seven-count class action lawsuit claims breach of warranty, unjust enrichment, negligence, product liability and failure to warn.
The Purina Waggin’ Train Chicken Dog Treat Class Action Lawsuit case is Adkins v. Nestle Purina Petcare Co., Case No. 12-cv-2871, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Chicago.
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