Party Animal Inc. has filed suit in federal court against Evanger’s Dog and Cat Food Co. Inc. because dog food Evanger’s produced for Party Animal was found to be contaminated with the animal euthanasia drug pentobarbital.
The Food and Drug Administration confirmed the presence of the drug during testing after a consumer complaint. Two varieties of Party Animal’s Cocolicious dog food tested positive for the drug, which was found earlier this year in Evanger’s branded dog food after several dogs became ill. One of those dogs died despite emergency medical care.
On April 24, Party Animal recalled 13-ounce cans of “Cocolicious Beef & Turkey” dog food, lot 0136E15204 04 with a best-by date of July 2019, and “Cocolicious Chicken & Beef” dog food, lot 0134E15 237 13 with a best-by date of August 2019, after learning about the potential contamination from a customer.
The 13-page suit, filed May 5 in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, lists eight complaints and claims damages in excess of $20 million. Also named as a defendant in the case is Evanger’s sister company, and Nutripack LLC.
The complaint outlines several counts, including:
- Breach of written contract;
- Breach of oral contract;
- Breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing;
- Negligent misrepresentation;
- Breach of implied warranty;
- Breach of express warranties; and
- Implied indemnity.
In February, Evanger’s recalled certain production lots of Evanger’s brand “Hunk of Beef” and Against the Grain brand “Pulled Beef” canned dog foods after pentobarbital was found in samples of both products. Evanger’s expanded the recall in March 2017 to include all products manufactured using meat from a single supplier during a specific time period.
In its own $20 million lawsuit, filed in Cook County, IL, on April 25, Evanger’s named Bailey Farms LLC as the supplier of meat used in the recalled dog foods, accusing the meat company of breach of contract, breach of implied warranties and fraud.
Party Animal’s fraud complaint against Evanger’s is based on the manufacturer’s claim of USDA organic certification for the two recalled products.
Bailey Farms LLC is not listed as a certified organic operation in the USDA Organic Integrity Database. Therefore, meat supplied by Bailey Farms would not qualify for the USDA’s organic certification.
According to the database maintained by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Evanger’s received certified organic status for certain of its products in 2010. “Cocolicious Beef & Turkey,” and “Cocolicious Chicken & Beef” canned dog foods were added to the USDA organic database effective Aug. 14, 2015.
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