An Illinois federal judge tossed most of a proposed class action against pet food manufacturer Mars Petcare US Inc., but the company couldn’t escape claims brought by dog owners that it violated the state’s fraud statute when it sold dog food with the very ingredients it claimed to avoid.
U.S. District Judge Manish S. Shah eliminated many of the claims brought by the six dog owners and booted three of them off the suit.
The judge did dismiss two women from South Carolina and one from Wisconsin from the lawsuit because they bought Mars’ products outside of Illinois. The court also decided that the remaining dog owners can’t sue Mars over two of the six dog labels because none of them actually purchased the feed.
The pet owners said Mars advertised its premium dog food product — Nutro Limited Ingredient Diet — as being safe or better for pets with allergies because the products excluded certain ingredients. The bags promised “No Chicken” and to be “Grain Free,” but an analysis of six food types under the label by researchers found more than trace amounts of poultry, soy and wheat, according to the complaint filed in November 2020.