Midwestern Pet Foods Hit with Another Class Action After 70 Dogs Die Due to Toxin Contamination
Williams et al. v. Midwestern Pet Foods, Inc.
Filed: January 28, 2021 ◆§ 3:21-cv-00022
Midwestern Pet Foods faces another class action after a recall and expanded recall of products contaminated with unacceptable levels of mold-borne aflatoxin.
Midwestern Pet Foods, Inc. faces another proposed class action over the widespread toxin contamination of a number of varieties of dog and cat foods.
The 25-page lawsuit, filed by five plaintiffs in Indiana federal court, is centered on Midwestern Pet Foods’ late-December 2020 recall of three formulas of cat and dog foods after testing revealed the products contained unacceptable aflatoxin levels. On January 11, 2021, the defendant expanded the list of recalled pet foods, which were made with corn ingredients and produced at the company’s Chickasha facility in Oklahoma.
The suit, which echoes a proposed class action filed last week over similar allegations, relays that Midwestern Pet Foods issued the expanded recall after “more than 70 dogs died and another 80 fell ill” after reportedly consuming the contaminated products. At the time of the first recall in December, the FDA was informed that nearly 30 dogs had died and eight others fell ill after consuming the pet foods at issue, according to the complaint.
As the lawsuit tells it, proposed class members would not have bought Midwestern’s pet food products had they known they were contaminated with dangerous or toxic levels of aflatoxin and/or that the defendant “did not adequately test or inspect the Pet Food Products before selling them.”
Per the suit, the products recalled by Midwestern Pet Foods include:
Midwestern Pet Foods’ marketing and advertising of the recalled items as suitable for animal and nutritious is “false, deceptive, and misleading” to reasonable consumers, the case alleges.
With regard to the contamination, the lawsuit states that aflatoxins are produced by molds that grow in grains, soil and hay and are among the mold-borne mycotoxins that are the most dangerous to humans and animals. According to the lawsuit, aflatoxins can affect an animal’s liver, and possibly cause gastrointestinal and reproductive issues or cancer. Symptoms of high aflatoxin levels include jaundice, anemia, fever, lethargy, bloody diarrhea, severe vomiting and discolored urine, the lawsuit says.
Per the suit, aflatoxin can end up in commercial pet food because of the ingredients used to make the products, including corn, rice, wheat cereals or soybeans. According to the complaint, the toxin will often contaminate agricultural crops, like corn, before harvest, typically as a result of high temperatures, excessive draughts or pre-harvest insect contamination. Aflatoxin can also develop if crops are wet for a long period of time, or if crops are stored in a moist environment that produces mold, the case says.
Products affected by Midwestern Pet Foods’ initial recall included, according to the suit:
The lawsuit looks to cover all persons in the United States who bought for personal, family or household use Midwestern Pet Foods’ pet food products containing corn with expiration dates on or before July 9, 2022 manufactured at the company’s Chickasha, Oklahoma facility.
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Camp Lejeune residents now have the opportunity to claim compensation for harm suffered from contaminated water.
Read more here: Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Claims
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