New Jersey Attorney Gray Graifman Receives
Favorable Decisions in Spot-On Pesticide
July 07, 2011 /24-7PressRelease/ — Plaintiff’s class action lawyer Gary S. Graifman, a partner with the firm Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, was part of a team of plaintiffs’ counsel who secured favorable decisions in four class actions involving multiple manufacturers of spot-on flea and tick treatments for pets, which were alleged to have caused adverse reactions to dogs and cats, ranging from minor to severe reactions, including death. The defendants had moved to dismiss the cases. The United States District Court for the District of New Jersey granted these motions in part and denied them in part.
The lawsuits involved multiple spot-on (e.g., applied directly to spots on a pet’s body) flea and tick treatment products used on dogs and cats. Manufacturers of these products named in the lawsuits included: Merial Limited, Farnam Companies, Wellmark International, Inc., Hartz Mountain Corporation, Sergeant’s Pet Care Products, Inc., Summit VetPharm, LLC, and Bayer Healthcare, LLC. These products contained pesticides such as Finopril, Methoprene, Permethrin, Pyriproxyfen, Etofenprox and/or Pyrethrin.
In April 2009, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported that there was a noticeable increase in the number of adverse pet reactions involving the spot on pesticides. The plaintiffs involved in the class actions alleged that the pesticides caused skin irritation, neurological problems/seizure-like symptoms, lethargy, weight loss and even death to their pets.
The class action lawsuits centered around four causes of action:
1. Breach of express warranty
2. Breach of implied warranty of merchantability
3. Unjust enrichment
4. Violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act
In three of the four class actions, the court granted defendant’s motion to dismiss counts two, three and four above because they were subsumed under the New Jersey Products Liability Act (NJPLA). However, the court allowed the plaintiff the opportunity to amend the complaint in order to plead a product liability cause of action under the NJPLA. In the case against Farnam, only the unjust enrichment count was dismissed.
By only partially granting the defendants’ motions to dismiss, the court has allowed the putative class actions to go forward. The plaintiffs’ claims involving breach of express warranty were allowed to proceed in the litigation. This is a victory for the named plaintiffs in these cases as well as the class of people who purchased the dangerous products and whose pets were injured by them.
For more information about the spot on flea and tick removal class actions, or to speak with class action attorney Gary S. Graifman, please call 800-660-7843 or visit www.kgglaw.com. Since 1975, Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C., has offered full-service, quality legal representation for clients in New York and New Jersey.
A wave of lawsuits filed by cat and dog owners who claim their pets were sickened or killed by anti-flea or tick medication is targeting five New Jersey companies that make or sell the treatment.
Secaucus-based Hartz Mountain Corp., Summit VetPharm LLC of Rutherford, Morristown-based Bayer Healthcare LLC, Merck & Co. Inc. of Whitehouse Station and Sanofi-Aventis Inc. of Bridgewater are named as defendants in suits filed over the last four months.
Most recently, five pet owners filed suit against Hartz Mountain and Summit VetPharm last week, in U.S. District Court in Newark, alleging that their flea or tick treatments contained Pyrethrin, or a synthetic version of the chemical Pyrethroids, which are known to poison animals.
Both companies are owned by Sumitomo Corporation of America, the New York-based subsidiary of a Japanese trading and investment company, the suit says.
The suit accuses the companies of negligence, violating New Jerseys consumer fraud law and liability for creating an unreasonably dangerous product. The products named include Hartz Ultra Guard flea and tick drops and Summit VetPharms Vectra 3d.
A Hartz spokeswoman said, Hartz has not been officially served with this suit, and it is company policy not to comment on litigation. A spokeswoman for Sumitomo Corporation of America, did not respond to a request for comment.
Also named as a defendant is Sergeants Pet Care Products Inc. of Nebraska, which makes flea and tick products.
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