Diamond Pet Foods hit with class action suit over Kirkland Salmonella tainted dog food

Baby Jelly 10-21-08

Diamond Pet Foods Inc. and Costco Wholesale Corp. were slapped with a class action in New York federal court over recent massive recalls of Kirkland Signature dog food linked to a Salmonella Infantis outbreak that has sickened countless pets and at least 22 people.

This is not the first Diamond Pet Food lawsuit filed over the Salmonella Infantis outbreak. A New Jersey couple filed a class action lawsuit against Diamond and Costco in May after their 8-week-old infant son was sickened by tainted Kirkland Signature dog food they purchased at Costco, causing him to spend three days in the hospital with gastrointestinal injuries.

In the present class action suit, plaintiff Barbara Marciano said one of her dogs died after eating pet food purchased at a Westbury, N.Y., Costco and manufactured at Diamond’s plant in Gaston, S.C., where the outbreak began. Marciano is claiming her dog Benji died after eating Costco’s private label brand Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain Salmon Meal & Sweet Potato Formula for Dogs tainted with Salmonella.

Marciano is suing Diamond Pet Foods and Costco Wholesale Corporation on seven counts: Count I Breach of Implied Warranty; Count II Breach of Express Warranty; Count III Negligence; Count IV Strict Product Liability; Count V Unjust Enrichment; Count VI Violations of the New York General Business Law Section 349 (deceptive acts and practices); Count VII Violations of the New York General Business Law Section 350 (false advertising)

Marciano is suing Diamond Pet Foods and Costco on behalf of all U.S. consumers who purchased the recalled Diamond pet food. She is seeking actual and consequential damages; treble damages; reimbursement, restitution and disgorgement; injunctive relief and more.

The law firm handling Marciano’s case, Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP, is the same firm that handled the Menu Foods pet foods liability litigation settlement for $24 million.

Affected consumers are encouraged to join the class action by contacting the law firm, Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP, by calling 800.449.4900 or contacting them through their website at www.rgrdlaw.com.

Jelly at Christmas time. One month later Jelly was buried.

A special note of thanks to a reader named Linda who told me her heartbreaking story and was the first person to join the suit. It was Linda’s beloved dog Jelly who, given to her only three short years ago as a puppy, died after consuming the tainted pet food. She wrote:

Regala’s By The Sea (Jelly) was a Portuguese Water Dog bred by Eleanor Pierce (one of the first breeders of PWD in America).

My son, Michael, [pictured above with Jelly] buried that dog one month after we took that photo. I wrapped Jelly in several of my antique quilts, and Michael dug a huge deep grave for him. We gently lowered him, and placed handful by handful of dirt on him.  I didn’t want to shovel the dirt on him, forceful like that.  We did it gently.

They only looked to love us, and all their hope was in us. They did not deserve to suffer and die such painful ugly deaths. We failed them.

It is with her kind permission that the photographs of Jelly were used for this article.

Reference: Barbara Marciano v. Schell & Kampeter, Inc. d/b/a Diamond Pet Foods, et al., Case No. 12-cv-2708, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York. A copy of the Diamond Pet Foods Salmonella Recall Class Action Lawsuit can be read here.

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Mollie Morrissette

Mollie Morrissette, the author of Poisoned Pets, is an animal food safety expert and consumer advisor. Help support her work by making a donation today.

Comments (9) Write a comment

  1. I was in a Costco in Los Angeles County the last week of July 2012. They had a woman standing by one of the sample tables. She had a bag of this exact dog food – Costco’s private label brand Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain Salmon Meal & Sweet Potato Formula for Dogs – on the table and encouraged me to buy it for my dog. She was touting the fact that it had no grains and was a much healthier option for my dog than most other foods. I looked at the bag and could not find where the food was made, only that it was DISTRIBUTED by Costco. If I cannot find out where a food product is made by reading the packaging or if it is not made in the USA or Canada, I will no longer buy it. That goes for human, dog, and cat food.

    I asked the woman if she knew where the dog food was made and she immediately started looking at the bag. She then asked me if I had a cell phone with me and recommended I call the 800 number on the bag to find out where the food was made. I am EXTREMELY upset that Costco was still pushing this food after knowing they had released Salmonella tainted food. Also, they were still selling the Waggin’ Train Dog Jerky Treats in June. I did not see them there this time, however.


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