Michael Ferrara Jr. of Ferrara Law Firm in New Jersey, along with co-counsel in Chicago and San Francisco are representing a dozen plaintiffs in their suits charging that tainted food caused death or injury to pets.
Ferrara said that the cases are likely to be resolved soon, and Menu Foods’ lawyer said that the parties have made substantial progress during mediation.
Both sides said a settlement could be a few weeks away.
On Feb. 19, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation consolidated suits from around the nation, finding they involve questions of fact common to 31 cases already assigned to U.S. District Judge Noel Hillman, who sits in Camden.
About 120 suits were filed in Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Ontario, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin and Washington.
The plaintiffs claim unfair and deceptive trade practices; negligence in failing to provide adequate quality control; unjust enrichment and breach of implied and express warranties. Some claim emotional trauma was caused by the death or illness of pets.
The plaintiffs seek compensation for veterinary care, medical monitoring and euthanasia costs.
Defendants besides Menu Foods include distributors Del Monte Foods Inc. of San Francisco; Nestle of Stamford, Conn.; Procter & Gamble in Cincinnati; Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology Development Co. Ltd. in Pixian, China; and Suzhou Textile Import and Export Co. in Jiangsu, China.