On September 27, US District Judge Rodney W. Sippel upheld claims against Diversified Ingredients Inc., the broker that allegedly sold ingredients adulterated with poultry by-product meal to Blue Buffalo, reported Law 360. However, the judge reduced some of the claims to compensation made against the broker by Wilber-Ellis Co., the ingredient supplier involved in a false advertising lawsuit against Blue Buffalo.
In 2015, Blue Buffalo settled a false advertising class action lawsuit leveled against it because of those ingredients. Under the terms of the agreement, Blue Buffalo had to pay US$32 million into a settlement fund to settle the claims of the plaintiffs. However, the legal battle continues as Blue Buffalo goes after the pet food ingredient broker and supplier involved in the case, to recoup some of the settlement funds.
Judge Sippel ruled that the pet food ingredient broker must face some of the supplier’s demands for repayment of liability resulting from the poultry by-product sold to Blue Buffalo.
In the situation Judge Sippel decided on September 27, Diversified Ingredients argued that Missouri law prohibits claims for payment among parties that willingly committed wrongful acts together. Judge Sippel sided with Diversified Ingredients on this legal point, but only in regards to willfully acts.
However, he decided that the claims of wrongdoing against the broker could stand as far as they pertained to the negligent, unintentional inclusion of poultry by-products in Blue Buffalo’s supply chain.
A pet food ingredient broker must face some of a supplier’s claims seeking repayment for any liability stemming from poultry by-product sold to Blue Buffalo, which itself was targeted by Purina for false advertising, though a Missouri judge on Tuesday did trim claims against the broker company’s executives.
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