Following a recent report suggesting dogs and cats suffered serious and potentially life-threatening health problems from Seresto flea and tick collars, a class action lawsuit has been filed by two pet owners whose dogs developed tumors or died suddenly after wearing the collars.
Earlier this month, a special report published by USA Today indicated Seresto flea and tick collars have been linked to more than 75,000 health reactions among both humans and pets, including nearly 1,700 deaths.
The illnesses and deaths from Seresto collars are believed to be caused by pesticides used by the manufacturer, but no recall or label warnings have been provided to consumers.
Elanco Animal Health, Inc., the manufacturer, now faces a class action complaint (PDF) brought filed by Aitana Vargas and Faye Hemsley on March 22, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
Vargas, of California, had a soft tissue sarcoma surgically removed from her pet Siberian Husky, Lolita, following exposure to a Seresto collar, according to the lawsuit. Hemsley, of Pennsylvania, bought her 13-year-old terrier mix, Tigger Shadow, a Seresto collar in January 2020, and the lawsuit indicates that the dog died suddenly a month later.
The lawsuit also seeks class action status for Seresto pet collar purchases in the state of California since March 22, 2017, purchases in Pennsylvania since March 22, 2015, indicating that common questions of law and fact are likely to be involved in claims on behalf of thousands of individuals, which would be too numerous to joint together in one lawsuit.
“Since Seresto Product’s introduction, those who experienced its harmful effects complained through Amazon.com’s customer reviews, through social media, to the EPA and to Elanco’s previous owner, German conglomerate Bayer,” according to the complaint. “These complaints run the gamut from skin irritation to neurological issues including seizures to death. Yet nowhere in the labeling, advertising, statements, warranties, and/or packaging of the Seresto collar Products does Defendant disclose that the Products can cause severe injury and/or death in the dogs and cats who wear them and to their human caregivers.”
Although the front of the Seresto collar packages indicates it “Kills and Repels Fleas and Ticks”, information is omitted about the risk that dogs and cats wearing the collars may be seriously injured or killed, the lawsuit states.
In addition to their individual damages, Vargas and Hemsley present claims for violation of California’s unfair competition laws, violation of the state’s advertising laws, violations of the state’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act, and of Pennsylvania’s unfair trade practices laws. They seek compensatory and punitive damages.