Nestle Purina 'Beggin' dog treat lawsuit is scrapped

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 13, 2017 3:11 PM

By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A lawsuit accusing Nestle Purina Petcare Co [NESNP.UL] of fooling dog owners into thinking its Beggin' dog treats are made mostly of real bacon has been dropped.

Nestle Purina and plaintiff Paul Kacocha jointly agreed to dismiss the proposed class-action case, according to a filing on Wednesday with the federal court in White Plains, New York.

Kacocha, the owner of a West Highland terrier named Sophie, accused Nestle Purina of charging a premium price for Beggin' treats, egging on consumers with packaging that depicts bacon strips and touts how the treats are "made with real bacon!"

His lawsuit also pointed to the well-known television ad campaign in which excitable dogs successfully prod their owners for the treats.

But the Dutchess County, New York, resident said bacon was only 10th on the ingredients list, trailing "filler" such as wheat, corn gluten, soybean meal and corn syrup. He said Nestle Purina's marketing violated state consumer protection laws.

Nestle Purina, its outside lawyer, and Kacocha's lawyers did not respond on Thursday to requests for comment.

U.S. District Judge Kenneth Karas closed the lawsuit on Wednesday, eight months after rejecting a Nestle Purina request it be dismissed.

The St. Louis-based unit of Switzerland's Nestle SA had in court papers rejected any suggestion it tried to "masquerade the product as just bacon."

Kacocha had sought unspecified damages in his lawsuit.

The case is Kacocha et al v. Nestle Purina Petcare Co, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 15-05489.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)