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Orange County, California

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John Bisnar
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Cat owners sue in California over pet food recall

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Two Los Angeles residents have filed a lawsuit against Menu Foods of Ontario, Canada, alleging the cat food company is to blame for their cats’ recent health problems, according to papers filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, an Associated Press article published in the International Herald Tribune stated.

The pet food lawsuit, which seeks class action status, is asking for unspecified damages. This is one of several class action lawsuits that have been filed across the country after the widespread pet food recall, which has caused kidney failure, sickness and death among thousands of cats and dogs.

Kaye Steinsapir states in the lawsuit that she thought she was feeding her cat, Lila, one of the healthiest, most nutritious cat foods available.

“Lila was a healthy, vibrant cat without any medical conditions,” said the lawsuit filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court. But in recent weeks, Lila began vomiting, drinking an excessive amount of water and was eventually diagnosed with acute kidney failure, the lawsuit said.

Lois Grady of Sacramento alleges her cat, Riley, also became ill after eating tainted cat food. She filed the lawsuit “on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated.”

On March 16 Menu Foods recalled several brands of dog and cat food products nationwide. Scientists at the New York State Food Laboratory last week identified the rodent poison aminopterin as the likely culprit in a scare that prompted the recall of 95 brands of dog and cat food manufactured by the Canada-based company.

On Tuesday, a survey by the Veterinary Information Network, which counts 30,000 veterinarians and veterinary students as members, said the number of reported kidney failure cases had already grown to more than 471. The network’s founder, Paul Pion, a California veterinarian, said 104 animals have died.The company has so far confirmed the deaths of 15 cats and one dog. Other deaths have been reported anecdotally around the United States, but Menu Foods has not confirmed them.

I’ve found the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Web site, www.avma.org, has a lot of useful information about the recall as well as a lot of good tips on the safest food to feed your cat or dog.

If you’re a pet owner who has lost his or her cat or dog, you may be entitled to damages and/or reimbursement of veterinary bills you’ve had to pay as a result of the tainted food. Call me for a free consultation. We are in the process of representing a number of pet owners.