$50M lawsuit filed against pet food company

Days after a North America-wide recall involving a pet-food company based in Ontario, another manufacturer is accused of selling tainted food that has allegedly killed some animals and made others sick, CBC News has learned.

Another big pet-food manufactureris accused of selling tainted food in Canada that has allegedly killed some animals and made others sick, CBC News has learned.

A $50-million class-action lawsuit was filed Tuesday in Toronto against Royal Canin — a multibillion-dollar French company that supplies the Canadian pet-food market.

Thelawsuit seeks compensation for anyone who has purchased Royal Canin
dog or cat food since Aug. 1, 2004.

The lawsuit has yet to be certified. None of the claims have been proven in court.

News of thelawsuit follows a North America-wide recall issued Fridayby Ontario-basedMenu Foods, and involving91 different kinds of dog and cat food, after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration received complaints the food was causing kidney failure in animals.

Toronto lawyer Joel Rochon told CBC Newson Tuesday that the class-action lawsuit is based on the case of Whitby, Ont., pet owner Janet Grixti, whose chocolate lab Mochais alleged to havesuffered permanent kidney damage after eating Royal Canin dog food.

"He is a very young dog, and now he will have this costly condition for the rest
of his life," Grixti said Tuesday in a release.

Company issued recall

The lawsuit allegesthat certain types of Royal Canin cat and dog food contain excessive amounts of Vitamin D, which cause severe illness or death in pets.

"The allegation is that the problem persists even today," Rochon said.

The company recalled some of its products last summer and offered to pay a portion of Grixti's $40,000 veterinarian bill, Rochonsaid,but his client is not satisfied.

Rochon also said he is considering filing another lawsuit after getting calls from angry pet owners whoallege their animals got sick or died after eating Menu Foods products.

"From what we can tell, there's a segment of the pet food supply here in Canada that just doesn't have adequate quality assurance associated with it and that's a big concern," he said.

Royal Canin wasn't available to comment on the lawsuit.

Menu Foods has also refused to return calls since allegations surfaced Monday that its food had killed a cat in Canada.