Mars sues after alleged scale error ruins pet food

That alleged failure resulted in the production of pet food that did not meet acceptable specifications.

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(Andrey Burmakin | BigStock.com)
(Andrey Burmakin | BigStock.com)

In November, Mars Petcare filed a lawsuit against J.A. King & Company over alleged miscalibration of scales at a Henderson, North Carolina, U.S.A. pet food facility in August 2017. In the lawsuit by the pet food company, Mars claims that J.A. King failed to correctly service and calibrate the major feed scale used to measure raw ingredients in the production of Mars’ pet foods.

That alleged failure resulted in the production of pet food that did not meet acceptable specifications. That pet food could not be sold and was destroyed. Mars seeks that J.A. King compensate the pet food manufacturer for failing to service and calibrate the major scale properly.

Mars Petcare filed the lawsuit in a district court of North Carolina.

Background of Mars lawsuit against scale calibrator

The facility in Henderson originally manufactured Iams pet food. For decades, that formulation has used metric units, according to court documents. In 2017, following the 2014 purchase of Iams from Procter and Gamble, Mars switched from making Iams to Nutro pet food at the Henderson facility. After the formulation switch, the facility continued to use metric units.

However, in August 2017, a technician from J.A. King allegedly switched the units used by the main scale from metric to imperial units. After calibrating the scale, the technician didn’t switch the scale back to metric units, Mars claims. Subsequently, what Mars describes as “large quantities” of pet food were manufactured that were outside of acceptable parameters and could not be sold or repurposed.

“Mars not only had to dispose of millions of dollars in product for which it also lost profits, but also pay logistics and shipping costs for the disposal of the lost product,” wrote Mars’ lawyer in court documents. “Mars also suffered lost man hours to investigate, discover and correct the error in the scale.”

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