(WTNH)– A new lawsuit is claiming that the popular pet food Beneful may be killing its customers’ dogs.
Tampa lawyer, James Young, tells ABC News that the complaints against Beneful date back several years and he teamed up with other lawyers across the country after they realized that the food was a “common denominator” in the dog illnesses and deaths.
“It’s all Beneful dog food. That’s the common denominator. Statistically speaking, the fact that this many dogs were affected by the same brand of dog food is pretty compelling,” said Young.
According to CNN, the lawsuit claims that the dry dog food, produced by Nestle Purina PetCare, has “resulted in serious illness and death of thousands of dogs.”
The lawsuit also claims that in the past four years, there have been more than 3,000 online complaints from consumers about dogs becoming ill or dying after eating Beneful.
The plaintiff, Frank Lucido of Discovery Bay, California, filed the class action lawsuit on February 5th and he seeks $5 million in damages. The lawsuit says that Lucido’s German Shepherd became ill on January 17 and his English bulldog was found dead on January 23 in the yard, after he purchased Beneful in December or January. Lucido’s Labrador also became sick around the same time.
Beneful dog food is accused of causing internal bleeding, liver failure, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, seizures, bloat and kidney failure, CNN reports.
The lawsuit claims that Purina Nestle knew Beneful was harmful and sold it anyways without properly testing it or investigating the reports of dog illnesses and deaths.
The director of corporate communications for Nestle Purina PetCare, Bill Salzman, issued a statement denying the allegations saying:
“We believe the lawsuit is baseless, and we intend to vigorously defend ourselves and our brand. Beneful had two previous class action suits filed in recent years with similar baseless allegations, and both were dismissed by the courts. Like other pet foods, Beneful is occasionally the subject of social media-driven misinformation. Online postings often contain false, unsupported and misleading allegations that cause undue concern and confusion for our Beneful customers. Bottom line: Consumers can continue to feed Beneful with total confidence.”