Companies in the pet care and animal health industries face regulation, recalls and product-liability claims in an increasingly complex global supply market. To stay ahead, they need counsel with the scientific and legal acumen to anticipate media-driven litigation threats and to resolve challenges in the most cost-efficient manner.
Since the 1990s, our attorneys have represented leading manufacturers and distributors of veterinary pharmaceuticals, feed additives and pet products. Working with clients to quickly evaluate potential liability and the most appropriate response in the event of suspected product shortcomings or contamination, we also provide crisis-management and litigation-communications counsel to companies engaged in high-profile lawsuits. In addition to individual product-liability matters, we handle consumer-fraud and unfair-business class actions; criminal and civil attorneys general lawsuits; national antitrust claims on cattle and beef pricing; meat-packing and processing actions; and claims related to alleged defective feed formulation, preparation and storage.
Shook is geographically well-suited for this work. Kansas City is home to four of the 10 largest global animal health companies, three of the five largest pet food companies and the world’s largest animal health generics manufacturer. Our Washington, D.C. office is in close proximity to many of the federal government agencies that regulate this field. Shook partners with industry groups like the National Institute for Animal Agriculture, Biotechnology Industry Organization, Agricultural Business Council of Kansas City, Kansas City Animal Health Corridor, and American Royal. Our lawyers also assist clients with labeling audits and other compliance issues, including those regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Department of Agriculture, Environmental Protection Agency and Federal Trade Commission.
Flea and Tick Products
Shook successfully represented Bayer Animal Health in multidistrict litigation in the Northern District of Ohio and in New Jersey. Plaintiffs in the underlying class actions alleged that topically-applied flea and tick solutions for pets had been deceptively marketed.
Food and Drug Administration Compliance
A major retailer retained the firm to advise its suppliers as to appropriate product labeling to both comply with the law and avoid liability for misleading and deceptive product claims.
Shook has successfully litigated E. coli claims and lawsuits involving the sale, purchase or application of herbicides, pesticides and fungicides.
Pet Treat Class Actions
Shook successfully defeated certification of nationwide and California classes in a case brought under California’s notably broad Unfair Competition Law and Legal Remedies Act against our client, a pet food manufacturer that sold products allegedly presenting an undisclosed choking hazard.