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Five class action lawsuits have been filed against Champion Petfoods alleging that their Orijen and Acana brands of dog food contain excessive amounts of heavy metals such as arsenic, lead, and mercury, that are harmful and toxic to dogs.

Six named plaintiffs have brought the Orijen & Acana toxic dog food class action lawsuits claiming Champion falsely advertises their dog food products as containing fresh and minimally processed ingredients “deemed fit for human consumption” when, according to court documents, the dog food is contaminated with excessive quantities of heavy metals, including arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury.

“These concentrations are excessive, dangerous, and render Champion’s representations regarding the Products, including the packaging of the Products, false and misleading,” the Orijen & Acana dog food class action lawsuits contend.

In fact, arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury are toxic to dogs. A dog experiencing lead poisoning may exhibit vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, regurgitation, weakness, hysteria, seizures, and blindness. A dog experiencing arsenic poisoning may exhibit vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, lethargy, staggering, bright red blood in feces, loss of consciousness, and death—or more subtle symptoms from chronic exposure like poor appetite and weight loss. Heavy metals tend to accumulate in dogs and other animals, so long-term exposure to even small quantities of heavy metals can cause deleterious health effects.

One named plaintiff, Kellie Loeb of Wisconsin, says she purchased Orijen dry dog food products for her two dogs on numerous occasions within the last 18 months, including Orijen Original and Orijen Senior, from various local pet stores. Loeb’s most recent purchase was a bag of Orijen Original purchased in early March of 2018. She claims she purchased the dog food because she believed they were healthy, quality products for her pets, relying on Champion Petfood’s representation of their Orijen and Acana dog food.

Indeed, on their website, Champion Petfoods states that the Orijen pet foods “feature[] unmatched and unique inclusions of meat, naturally providing everything your dog or cat needs to thrive.” Defendants further promise on the products’ packaging and on its website that its Orijen and Acana foods are “guaranteed” to “keep your cherished companion happy, healthy, and strong.”

All five of the Orijen & Acana dog food class action lawsuits want to hold Champion Petfoods responsible for their alleged “negligent, reckless, and/or intentional practice of misrepresenting and failing to fully disclose the presence of heavy metals and toxins in their pet food,” asking for both injunctive and monetary relief. Each lead plaintiff is seeking to represent a proposed class of “all persons and entities who purchased a Champion dry dog food product for end use and not for resale” along with separate state-specific subclasses.

The Orijen & Acana Toxic Dog Food Class Action Lawsuits are:

Ficarelli et al v. Champion Petfoods USA Inc. and Champion Petfoods LP, Case No. 18-cv-361, in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee. Plaintiffs are represented by Kevin H. Sharp of Sanford Heisler Sharp LLP; and Ben Barrow and Erich P. Schork of Barnow and Associates PC.

Hodge et al v. Champion Petfoods USA Inc. and Champion Petfoods LP, Case No. 18-cv-248, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. Plaintiffs are represented by Richard S. Wayne, Joseph J. Braun, and Christopher S. Houston of Strauss Troy; Phyllis E. Brown and Adam S. Brown of the Brown Law Firm LLC; and Ben Barrow and Erich P. Schork of Barnow and Associates PC.

Loeb et al v. Champion Petfoods USA Inc. and Champion Petfoods LP, Case No. 18-cv-494, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. Plaintiffs are represented by Ben Barrow and Erich P. Schork of Barnow and Associates PC.; and Shpetim Ademi, John D. Blythin, and Mark A. Eldridge of Ademi & O’Reilly LLP.

Simpson et al v. Champion Petfoods USA Inc. and Champion Petfoods LP, Case No. 18-cv-74, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky. Plaintiffs are represented by Robert R. Sparks, Richard S. Wayne, and Joseph J. Braun of Strauss Troy; Phyllis E. Brown and Adam S. Brown of the Brown Law Firm LLC; and Ben Barrow and Erich P. Schork of Barnow and Associates PC.

Slawsby et al v. Champion Petfoods USA, Inc. and Champion Petfoods LP, Case No. 18-cv-10701, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Plaintiffs are represented by Glen DeValerio and Daryl Andrews of Andrews DeValerio LLPPatrick V. Dahlstrom, Gustavo F. Bruckner, and Gabriel Henriquez of Pomerantz LLP.

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