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Elanco Animal Health Hit with Class-Action Lawsuit Over Seresto Flea and Tick Collars

Elanco Animal Health is under fire in a lawsuit after two dogs developed health problems after using its Seresto flea and tick collars.

Two pet owners recently decided to sue Elanco Animal Health after their dogs developed health problems after using Seresto flea and tick collars. Unfortunately, one of the dogs even died. The class-action suit was filed earlier this week in the U.S. District Court of California in Los Angeles and alleges the company “misrepresented the safety of the product.”

EPA Logo; image courtesy of Cpicon92~commonswiki via Wikimedia Commons, https://commons.wikimedia.org

It’s important to note that the lawsuit was filed mere days after a “congressional subcommittee asked Elanco to voluntarily recall the flea and tick collars in the wake of” reports conducted by the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting that discovered “thousands of incident reports about pet and human harm linked to the collar.” Despite the report, Elanco declined to recall the collars.

This latest class-action lawsuit is likely to be the first of many, according to Spencer Sheehan, a consumer liability attorney in New York. Sheehan has a history of filing class-action lawsuits and is part of the team representing the plaintiffs.

What’s causing the illnesses in the dogs, though? Is there something wrong with the collar? Well, according to the lawsuit, the Seresto in the collars “has two active pesticide ingredients: imidacloprid and flumethrin.” One of the plaintiffs in the latest suit is Faye Hemsley of Pennsylvania. According to her, she purchased a Seresto pet collar back in January 2020 for Tigger Shadow, her 13-year-old terrier mix. While he was fine during his annual checkup at the vet on February 19, he died suddenly five days later.

Faye Hemsley of Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, claims in the suit that she purchased a Seresto pet collar in January 2020 for her 13-year-old terrier mix named Tigger Shadow. Tigger was fine at an annual veterinary check-up on Feb. 19 but suddenly died five days later. The other plaintiff, Aitana Vargas of Los Angeles, picked up one of the Seresto collars for her Siberian Husky, Lolita, in March 2020 and another in November 2020. Two months later, Lolita began to develop lumps on her neck near the site of the collar. After a trip to the vet, the 10-year-old dog was diagnosed with cancer and had to undergo emergency surgery earlier this year to have the lumps removed.

The suit states:

“Had Plaintiffs known the Seresto collar Products would cause, or increase the likelihood of causing, serious injury and/or death, they would not have purchased them.”

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), there have been more than 75,000 reports of “pet and human harm linked to use of the collar” since 2012, when the collar first hit the retail market. Of those reports, 1,698 involved pet deaths, and 907 humans were harmed. The EPA is a federal agency responsible for regulating products that contain pesticides.

When responding to the lawsuit, Colleen Dekker, a spokeswoman for Elanco, said the company “has investigated reports of incidents and deaths in which the pet collar was present and there’s nothing that suggests it’s the active ingredients in the collar that’s at fault.”

Sources:

Class-action lawsuit filed against producer of Seresto flea and tick collars

Pet owners file class-action lawsuit over Seresto flea and tick collars

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