Blue Buffalo has agreed to pay $32 million to settle mutlidistrict litigation (MDL) in Missouri filed by consumers accusing the pet food maker of lying about the ingredients in its kibble. This was said to be the largest settlement ever over pet food. The agreement would pay consumers in the class action proportionate to how much they spent on Blue Buffalo Co.’s products. The company had claimed its products were free of poultry byproducts, which was challenged in 13 class actions and in a false advertising suit filed by rival Nestle Purina PetCare Co.
Blue Buffalo says the impurities in its pet food were the fault of a supplier. Suits involved the premium pet food brand’s True Blue Promise label, which claims the food is healthy and made with the best ingredients, specifically without poultry byproducts and artificial preservatives. The Plaintiffs cited testing done by Purina that allegedly shows the byproducts comprise up to a quarter of Blue Buffalo’s kibble.
Purina, meanwhile, filed its own false advertising suit, which is still pending, lodging essentially the same claims against Blue Buffalo, its rival, and contending that independent laboratory studies found often significant amounts of chicken or poultry byproducts in Blue Buffalo products. The highest amounts were in the brand’s Life Protection Indoor Health Chicken & Brown Rice product, which contained about 25 percent chicken by-products, the suit claimed. Most other products had less, between about 2 percent and 10 percent in kibble or LifeSource Bits, according to the suit. Purina also alleged that Blue Buffalo’s products, though they claim to be grain-free, contain up to 3 percent grain and disputed the company’s claim that its food is human food-grade.
Blue Buffalo filed counterclaims against its rival, contending that the pictures of fruits and vegetables on Purina pet food products would mislead consumers into thinking those were ingredients of the food. Purina’s suit and the class actions sought damages from the company and injunctions forbidding Blue Buffalo from continuing to make alleged false statements in its marketing materials and labeling. Purina also seeks to force Blue Buffalo to account for all of its gains and profits resulting from the alleged false advertising and to pay restitution to Purina. Purina took note of Blue Buffalo’s proposed class settlement, saying in a statement the deal comes seven months after the company admitted it was mislabeling products.
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.