Lawsuit filed over Hill’s Pet Nutrition recalled dog food

Lawyers representing dog owner John Navarrete filed a class action lawsuit against Hill's Pet Nutrition related to elevated levels of vitamin D in the pet food company’s recalled wet dog food.

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(Zerbor | Bigstock.com)
(Zerbor | Bigstock.com)

Lawyers representing dog owner John Navarrete filed a class action lawsuit against Hill's Pet Nutrition related to elevated levels of vitamin D in the pet food company’s recalled wet dog food. The lawsuit was filed on February 12, 2019 in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California with the case number 4:19-cv-00767-DMR.

The plaintiff’s claim that Hill’s violated four statutes:

  1. California Consumer Legal Remedies Act
  2. California False Advertising Law
  3. Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act
  4. California Unfair Competition Law

The plaintiff seeks monetary compensation and an injunction to prevent Hill's from selling pet food with dangerous levels of vitamin D.

Background of the lawsuit against Hill’s Pet Nutrition

On October 1, 2018, Navarrete purchased twelve cans of Hill’s Prescription Diet Digestive Care i/d Low Fat Rice, Vegetable & Chicken Stew from a PetSmart store in Concord, California, USA for Goliath, his German Sheppard, according to court documents.

Until January 2019, Navarette purchased more of Hill’s Pet Nutrition wet dog food. In that month, Goliath began experiencing serious health issues, including vomiting and lethargy.

Also in January, Hill’s Pet Nutrition voluntarily recalled 25 varieties of canned dog food products due to potentially elevated levels of vitamin D, according to the United States Food and Drug Administration.

Dogs ingesting elevated levels of vitamin D may exhibit symptoms such as vomiting, loss of appetite, increased thirst, increased urination, excessive drooling and weight loss. Vitamin D consumed at excessively high levels can lead to serious health issues in dogs including kidney failure.

Lawsuit claims against Hill’s Pet Nutrition

In court documents, Navarette’s lawyers noted that Hill’s website states:

  • “…your pet gets all the nutrients they need – and none they don’t.”
  • its pet food contains the right nutrients in the right quantities
  • all finished products are “tested for key nutrients prior to release…”
  • suppliers are subject to stringent quality standards
  • each ingredient is examined to ensure safety as well as analyzed to ensure it contains an “ingredient profile for essential nutrients.”

What’s more, the lawyers presented marketing materials from Hill’s that warn pet owners of the dangers of excessive nutrient intake.

Considering Hill’s marketing claims, the plaintiff’s lawyers allege that Hill’s misrepresented their products, which led to Navarette buying the wet dog food for his German Shepherd.

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