A class action lawsuit has been filed against Nestle Purina PetCare, alleging that Beneful dog food products have caused reports of serious illness in thousands of dogs, including kidney failure, internal bleeding and death.
The complaint (PDF) was filed by Frank Lucido in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on February 5, alleging that after feeding Beneful dog food to his pets, one of Lucido’s dogs died and two others became ill.
According to allegations raised in the Beneful dog food lawsuit, the product has not been properly tested and contains ingredients like propylene glycol, an ingredient in automotive antifreeze, and mycotoxins, which are toxic byproducts of grain fungus.
The complaint notes that Nestle Purina PetCare has received more than 3,000 complaints online about dogs getting sick or dying after eating Beneful over the past four years. Lucido indicates that claims of illness and death by dog owners show a pattern of consistent symptoms, such as stomach and gastrointestinal bleeding, liver damage and liver failure, kidney failure, diarrhea, weight loss, dehydration and even seizures.
The company has continued to defend it’s dog food, maintaining that the lawsuit is baseless. This is at least the third Beneful class action filed by angry dog owners, who claim the pet food injured or killed their pets. The other two previous claims were dismissed.
In a press statement issued on February 25, 2015, company officials say that the type of propylene glycol used is a food additive approved for use in human food and animal feed, with the exception of cats, in the U.S., Canada and European Union.
“Like other pet foods, Beneful is occasionally the subject of social media-driven misinformation,” according to the statement. “On-line postings often contain false, unsupported and misleading allegations that cause undue concern and confusion for our Beneful consumers.”
Lucido is seeking $5 million in damages and claims that Nestle Purina knew the dog food was harmful and failed to adequately test it before selling it, and failed to adequately respond to consumer complaints.