Plaintiffs who allege WellPet sold contaminated pet food granted leave to file amended complaint

By Charmaine Little | Jul 10, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California has granted the plaintiffs in a case over allegedly contaminated pet food products leave to file a second amended complaint.

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SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California has granted the plaintiffs in a case over allegedly contaminated pet food products leave to file a second amended complaint.

Plaintiffs Daniel Zeiger and Danz Doggie Daytrips were granted their motion to leave for a second amended complaint by the court June 29. The additional files in the second amended complaint will include claims for damages under the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act and more allegations that toxic substances were in an additional pet food item. It will also comply with a previous order that granted in part and denied in part the defendant WellPet LLC's attempt to get the case dismissed.

While WellPet challenged the motion for leave over its claims the changes will prejudice it, require new discovery and call for another motion to dismiss, all is not lost for the defendant. The court ruled in its favor concerning its motion to seal a part of a sentence concerning its argument for why the plaintiffs shouldn’t be allowed to file the second amended complaint. It was also granted its motion to seal a number of details concerning the labs that performed the tests on the pet food products named in the case. It was also noted the plaintiffs supported this motion.

Another request addressed in the decision was both parties’ desire to get clarification on the court’s previous order regarding discovery dispute. The main disagreement was “whether discovery includes only the 'independent lab testing results' and the name of the lab that conducted the tests, or if WellPet can discover the unredacted lab results and underlying factual material,” according to the opinion. 

The court sided with the plaintiffs and determined the order would only include the lab names and test results that were in the first amended complaint. Considering this, the order doesn’t concern material and disclosures WellPet hoped to receive.

Zeiger and Danz Doggie Daytrips originally sued WellPet over allegations it knowingly sold pet food items that contained arsenic, lead and bisphenol A (BPA) while promoting the products as safe. Zeiger and the company said they were injured financially because of WellPet as they would not have purchased the products if they knew they allegedly contained the toxic substances.

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