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A class action lawsuit against the manufacturer of the “Real Ham Bone” for dogs has reached preliminary approval meaning thousands of dog owners around the country may be eligible for a settlement.
Dynamic Pet Products LLC and Frick’s Meat Products Inc. have agreed to settle a class action lawsuit alleging they engaged in false and deceptive marketing of the Real Ham Bone for Dogs products.
If you purchased a Real Ham Bone product between Jan. 1, 2011 and May 12, 2017, you may be entitled to benefits from the class action settlement.
Plaintiffs in the case alleged that the Real Ham Bone products are sold so that the defendants can profit from slaughterhouse waste. The defendants market the Real Ham Bone as a chew product for dogs, according to the class action lawsuit.
“Defendants represent in their advertising and marketing materials that the Real Ham Bone For Dogs is a safe and appropriate product for dogs,” the Real Ham Bone class action lawsuit says. “These representations are false and misleading because the product is extremely hazardous to dogs.”
According to the Real Ham Bone class action lawsuit, when dogs chew on a Real Ham Bone product, it creates “needle-like shards” that can irritate and possibly puncture the dog’s intestinal tract, causing the dog to suffer severe internal injuries. The plaintiffs also claim the Real Ham Bone products contain bacterial toxins that can cause dogs to become ill and/or die.
“As a result of consuming this product, numerous dogs have experienced vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, internal bleeding, infection and death,” the plaintiffs allege in the Real Ham Bone class action lawsuit.
The Real Ham Bone is an 8-inch long pig femur that is brined, smoked and baked in an oven for around eight hours at 130 to 150 degrees Celsius. According to the class action lawsuit, the smoking and baking process causes the bone to dry out and become brittle. When dogs chew on the brittle bone, it can allegedly splinter. When the shards of bones are swallowed, it can cause severe internal injuries.
The plaintiffs claim that their dogs suffered severe, debilitating or fatal illnesses as a result of consuming the defendants’ Real Ham Bone products. Some of the plaintiffs’ dogs required emergency surgery to remove the bone shards from their gastrointestinal tracts after chewing on the Real Ham Bone. The plaintiffs say the products were not worth the price they paid for them. Read more from Top Class Actions.
In 2015, after multiple reports of severe injury, illness, and death, the Better Business Bureau issued a warning against the popular chew treat. As a result of that warning, the bones were to be removed from Walmart store shelves, but many dog owners reported continued sales.
Additionally, following the BBB warning, Dynamic Pet Products agreed to revise product labeling, removing references to “100% FOOD GRADE INGREDIENTS” and placing warnings in bright yellow to make them more apparent to pet owners:
Although the defendants deny the allegations against their product, they agreed to settle to avoid the uncertainty and expense of ongoing litigation.
The Real Ham Bone class action settlement was preliminarily approved on April 19, 2017.
The settlement agreement provides class members with a maximum of $2,500 for each claim of pet injury or death resulting in veterinary expenses (with a cap of $50,000 per year). Class members may also receive a $3 refund for each product purchased (for up to 10 bones with proof of purchase, or up to four bones without proof of purchase). In addition, the company agreed to stop manufacturing or selling pig bone products for dogs until they are reformulated to be “more durable than an uncooked bone” or the company has insurance coverage to compensate owners of pets who have been killed or injured from consuming the bones.
A final fairness hearing is scheduled for August 3, 2017. For more information, go to www.realhambonesettlement.com. (Taylor et al v. Dynamic Pet Products, LLC et al, Case No. 1616-CV11531, Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri at Independence)