Common Law - The FindLaw Consumer Protection Law Blog

Chinese Jerky Treats Sickened 1,000 Dogs, Some Pets Died

The Food and Drug Administration has received almost 1,000 complaints from pet owners claiming Chinese jerky treats made their dogs sick.

Owners and vets reported the treats caused vomiting and diarrhea in pets. In some cases, death and kidney failure occurred, Time.com reports. Eventually the FDA issued warnings about the products, which are sold variously as chicken jerky strips, nuggets, and treats.

So what are your options if your dog has fallen ill to one of these products?

Pursuing legal action could prove tricky. That's because other than the consumer complaints, there hasn't been much evidence to back up the allegations.

FDA scientists have conducted repeated tests, but haven't found any toxins that could be responsible for the doggy illnesses. And for now, reports from a review of the Chinese manufacturing plants aren't available yet.

Typically, when a product is defective, everyone in the "chain of distribution" can be sued in a products liability lawsuit. This means all manufacturers, distributers, and retailers of the good can be held legally responsible.

However, aside from the proof issues, this case also poses a couple more problems. The first is that some of the potential defendants are from China. So joining them in a lawsuit creates some tricky jurisdictional problems.

The second is that the parties actually harmed from the treats are dogs, not people. However, this issue can be potentially overcome if the owners claim property damage (in the form of their injured pooches).

Some of the brands of chicken jerky treats named in the complaints include Waggin' Train and Canyon Creek Ranch, MSNBC reports. But again, the FDA hasn't detected any toxins that could've made the dogs sick.

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