February 20, 2015 5:45 PM MST
A class action lawsuit filed earlier this month claims that Purina Beneful is killing dogs
Photo by John Moore/Getty Images
A lawsuit alleging that Purina’s Beneful dog food has sickened or killed countless dogs was filed against Nestle Purina Petcare Company earlier this month.
The class action lawsuit, which was filed in a California federal court by plaintiff Frank Lucido on Feb. 5, alleges that Beneful dog food contains toxic substances that have caused serious illness or death in thousands of dogs.
Lucido, who had owned three dogs, purchased a bag of Purina Beneful in late Dec. 2014 or early 2015. His German Shepherd, Labrador retriever, and English Bulldog all began eating the food. According to Lucido, the three dogs exclusively ate the Beneful – and he began noticing concerning changes in his dogs on Jan. 15.
Lucido’s German Shepherd began to lose large quantities of hair and "began to give off an unusual odor" – and by Jan. 17, the dog had become "violently ill."
A veterinarian examined the sick dog and determined that the German Shepherd had internal bleeding in his stomach. The dog’s liver was also malfunctioning – and the veterinarian stated that this was "consistent with poisoning."
Less than one week later, on Jan. 23, Lucido’s wife found their English Bulldog dead in their yard. The class action lawsuit states:
Post-mortem veterinary examination revealed signs of internal bleeding in the dog’s stomach and lesions on his liver, much like [the German Shepherd]."
Shortly afterward, Lucido’s Labrador also became ill. Their third dog is currently being tested.
Lucido claims that he and his wife “suffered economic losses including the purchase price of Beneful and veterinary and related medical expenses” as result of the damage that Beneful has done to their dogs.
The Beneful class action lawsuit states that there have been more than 3,000 complaints posted by dog owners “about dogs becoming ill, in many cases very seriously ill, and/or dying after eating Beneful." The lawsuit states:
The dogs show consistent symptoms, including stomach and related internal bleeding, liver malfunction or failure, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, weight loss, seizures, bloating, and kidney failure."
According to Lucido, Beneful is advertised as a "healthful and nutritional dog food," but his experience – and the experiences of others – don’t support these statements.
Lucido states that Beneful allegedly include propylene glycol, a "known animal toxin [that’s] poisonous to cats and dogs." The lawsuit further alleges that Beneful includes mycotoxins, a group of toxins "produced by fungus that occurs in grains, which are a principle ingredient in Beneful.”
The Association for Truth In Pet Food independently tested Beneful and found that “Beneful Original…contained dangerous levels of mycotoxins.”
Lucido’s lawsuit looks to represent two classes: A nationwide class and a California subclass for dog owners “who purchased Beneful dog food in the past four years and who incurred any out of pocket costs due to illness, injury or death of their dog resulting from the ingestion of Beneful.”
The Beneful toxic dog food class action lawsuit charges Nestle Purina with breach of implied warranty, breach of express warranty, negligence, negligent misrepresentation, strict products liability, violating California’s consumer legal remedies act, violating California’s Unfair Competition Law, and violating California’s False Advertising Law.
The plaintiff is represented by Jeffrey B. Cereghino of Ram, Olson, Cereghino & Kopcyzynski, by John Yanchunis of Morgan & Morgan Complex Litigation Group, by Karl Molineux of Merrill, Nomura & Molineux, and by Donna F. Solen of Kimbrell Kimbrell & Solen LLC.
The Beneful Toxic Dog Food Class Action Lawsuit is Frank Lucido v. Nesltle Purina Petcare Company, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
As of this writing, there are 861 complaints about Purina pet food on the website ConsumerAffairs.com.
Has your dog gotten sick after eating Purina Beneful? Please share your story by commenting below!
Updates to this story will be posted as they occur.
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