San Francisco, California, USA, lawyers rescued Wal-Mart and a group of petfood manufacturers on March 16 from a class action that could have led to millions of dollars in damages, according to an  article  on  www.Law.com .

A federal judge in Nevada, USA, granted a motion by the defense to pre-emptively deny certification to a class of plaintiffs that would have spanned eight states, including California.

Margaret Picus, a Nevada woman, filed a class action in state court against Wal-Mart and a group of food manufacturers in April 2007, alleging that they illegally labeled their petfood "Made in USA," though some ingredients were imported from China.

The previous month, the Food and Drug Administration had announced that certain petfood ingredients imported from China were sickening and killing cats and dogs.

US District Judge Philip Pro of Nevada denied Picus class certification in Picus v. Wal-Mart Stores, 07-00682, ruling that subjective, individual issues made a class action the wrong way to handle the case. Specifically, Pro wrote in his decision, the law requires the plaintiffs to prove that each person who bought the tainted petfood did so because it was labeled "Made in USA."