The owner of Diamond Pet Foods can’t escape a proposed class action accusing it of failing to disclose that its “Taste of the Wild” dog food contains heavy metals and other toxic substances.
U.S. District Judge John A. Mendez rejected pet food maker Schell & Kampeter Inc.’s argument that statements like “the balanced diet that nature intended” and “the best nutrition available today” on its “Taste of the Wild” packaging are non-actionable puffery, finding that elements of both phrases can be objectively tested.
Richard David Classick Jr., who owns a Blue Nose American Pitbull named Otis, specifically alleges that the dog food does not provide a “balanced diet” because it contains heavy metals, BPA, pesticides and other toxic substances that are associated with health risks.
Classick first sued Diamond Pet Foods in August 2018, claiming that the pet food maker was misleading consumers with its “Taste of the Wild” dog food because the product contained undisclosed heavy metals, pesticides and other toxic substances.
This isn’t the first time Diamond Pet Foods has been taken to court over contaminated pet food.
In 2012, the company’s dry dog food was linked to a salmonella outbreak in nine states that sickened 14 people. After expanding a recall of the dog food, Diamond Pet Foods and Costco agreed to pay $2 million in 2014 to resolve a proposed class action over the outbreak.
In 2019, two Illinois dog owners hit the pet food maker with a proposed class action alleging that some of its dry dog food and puppy formula tested positive for arsenic, lead, pesticides and other toxic materials, though they are advertised as “natural” and “pure.” The suit is still pending.