Contaminated Pet Food Caused Dog Deaths, Class Action Alleges

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The class action lawsuit says two dogs were killed and seven sickened by Mid America pet food contaminated with Salmonella

A group of dog lovers have banded together to seek justice after they say their beloved pets were sickened – and some died – from eating pet food contaminated with Salmonella.

Plaintiffs Glenn Jackson, Kenneth Leonard, Dorothy Petersen, and Stephanie Raney filed a class action lawsuit against pet-food manufacturer Mid America on Dec. 29 in a Texas federal court. 

The dog owners say their furry friends and others around the country suffered due to the negligence of the pet food manufacturer, and now they’re asking the company to cough up more than $5 million in compensation. 

Three recalls and a spate of dog deaths

The owners say they had no way of knowing the dog food was contaminated with Salmonella when they bought it for their pets. 

On Nov. 9, 2023, Mid America recalled all the dog and cat food brands it makes with a best by date before 10/31/2024, due to potential Salmonella contamination, after doing partial recalls on Sept. 3, 2023 and Oct. 30, 2023. The brands include Victor, Eagle Mountain, Wayne Feeds and two varieties of Member’s Mark pet foods. 

However, the plaintiffs say it was too late for their pets. Alabama dog owner Glenn Jackson says he bought Wayne Feeds Dog Food to feed his service dog “Jack Jack” in Aug. 2022. A couple of weeks after feeding the product to Jack Jack, he stopped eating and drinking, he says. Jackson took Jack Jack to the vet who told him the food was making him sick. About a week later Jack Jack died, Jackson says.

In Georgia, plaintiff Kenneth Leonard purchased Eagle Mountain Pet Food Pro Balance in Jan. 2022 to feed his dog “Amber.” Soon after eating the food, Amber got sick with Salmonella poisoning and died, Leonard said.  

Illinois plaintiff Dorothy Petersen says she bought Victor Super Premium Dog Food in 2023 to feed her service dog “Libi,” a chocolate-colored Labrador. After eating the food, Libi got sick with vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy, and she was unable to do her work, Peterson says. A vet diagnosed her with enterocolitis from Salmonella, she says. 

Meanwhile, in Oklahoma, plaintiff Stephanie Raney says in Oct. 2023 she bought Victor Super Premium Dog Food to feed her six French Bulldogs: “Rogue One,” “Chloe Rose,” “Vader Tater,” “Malibu Barbie,” “Fiona Apple,” and “Ghost Ryder.” Days after eating the food, all six of the dogs became sick and started vomiting, she says. As of December 2023, Vader Tater and Malibu Barbie were still receiving antibiotic treatment, she alleges. 

Were any humans harmed?

The Salmonella illnesses may not have stopped at the family pets. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration says it is also investigating seven human cases of Salmonella Kiambu infection potentially associated with pet food made by Mid America Pet Food, alongside the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). 

As of Nov. 1, 2023, seven people infected with the strain of Salmonella found in Mid America pet food had been reported from seven states. Six of seven cases reported were in children one year of age or younger, the CDC said. Five of the cases reported exposure to dogs and three reported feeding Victor pet food to their pets. One person was hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported so far. 

Not the first lawsuit for pet food company

This lawsuit follows a similar class action filed against Mid America by two other dog owners in early December. In that case, two dog owners say their pets had to be euthanized after eating Mid America pet food, and family members who took care of the dogs were also sickened. 

Mid America Pet Food was acquired by TA Associates, a US-based private equity firm, from Trinity Hunt Partners in 2020. The company is based in Texas. 

The plaintiffs in this case say Mid America did not adequately test, screen or inspect the pet foods before selling them, in violation of federal warranty laws and state consumer laws. 

They are looking to represent consumers nationwide who bought Mid America pet food products contaminated with Salmonella, and are seeking damages, fees, costs and a jury trial.

The plaintiffs are represented by Steckler Wayne & Love, PLLC and Carney Bates & Pulliam, PLLC.The Mid America dog food class action lawsuit is Glenn Jackson et al. v. Mid-America Pet Food LLC, Case No. 5:23-cv-00153-RWS in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas Texarkana Division.

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