Residents file lawsuit over odor from Purina pet food plant

Several neighbors within a mile radius of Nestle Purina Petcare's plant in Denver claim "noxious odors" have created symptoms including headaches and nausea.

2 Lisa Selfie December 2020 Headshot
Nearby residents have filed a class action lawsuit for 'noxious' odors they claim are coming from Nestle-Purina Petcare's processing factory in Denver.
Nearby residents have filed a class action lawsuit for "noxious" odors they claim are coming from Nestle-Purina Petcare's processing factory in Denver.
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NestlĂ© Purina PetCare is the subject of a class-action lawsuit brought by a group of residents who live within a one-mile radius to its factory located at 4555 York St. in Denver, Colorado.

According to the complaint, plaintiffs said a "rancid" smell from the pet food processing plant is impacting their lives. Robert Fields and Lorena Ortiz, the residents who filed the complaint, and their attorneys allege that Purina "failed to install, maintain, operate, develop, and/or implement adequate odor mitigating strategies, processes, technology and equipment to control its odorous emissions from the facility and prevent those odors and emissions from invading the homes and properties" of those in the surrounding area.

"[You] can’t plan an outside event ... can’t have windows open," Fields stated in the complaint. "You would rather be too hot inside then have the smell come in.”

Ortiz said the “smell is horrible and she does not even want to go outside.” Others alleged "offensive odors" made them nauseous and gave them headaches and watery eyes.

According to the lawsuit, several complaints had been made to the Colorado Department of Health and Environment (CDHE) over the last two years. In response, CDHE investigated the facility. In 2022, CDHE reported "two exceedances of the State Detection threshold for odors."

More than 50 households within the class area have contacted plaintiffs' counsel documenting the odors they attribute to the facility. Plaintiffs are seeking compensatory damages and an injunction on state and federal regulations.

In a statement to Petfood Industry, a spokesperson for NestlĂ© Purina said: "Purina is a proud member of the Denver community, and we’ve operated our York Street factory since 1930. Throughout this time, we have remained committed to being the best neighbor we can be, and that won’t change. Unfortunately, we cannot comment on the specifics of pending litigation."

According to Petfood Industry's Top CompaniesNestlĂ© Purina PetCare remains a top player in the global pet care industry. Long a leader in the U.S. market, NestlĂ© Purina also operates pet food factories in 19 countries. NestlĂ© Purina claims three headquarters globally: St. Louis, Missouri, U.S., for its North American and Latin American operations; Lausanne, Switzerland, in Europe; and Sydney, Australia, covering Asia, Oceania and Africa. Its parent company, NestlĂ©'s world headquarters, is in Vevey, Switzerland.

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