GreeniesThe class action suit brought against Kansas City-based manufacturer S&M NuTec, maker of Greenies, one of the nation’s best-selling dog treats, by Alan Sash, who represented 10 dog owners, claiming the claiming the teeth-cleaning product injured or killed close to a dozen dogs, has been settled.

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Gary Fenner agreed with a joint request to dismiss the case.

Sash said the case was settle but that the terms are confidential and a lawyer representing S&M NuTec declined to comment.

In 2005, stories started surfacing of pets becoming ill and some dying from choking on the treat or undigested pieces becoming trapped in their intestines causing severe medical problems. A CNN report is quoted as say as many as 13 pets died from problems due to Greenies.

Several dog owners brought suit against the company in 2006, which has since sold to Mars Inc., alleging that Greenies caused severe throat and intestinal blockages in some dogs because they couldn’t easily be broken down by a canine’s digestive tract.

The manufacturer insisted that the treated were safe when used according to the package directions which included making sure they dog was given the proper size Greenie to making sure that the dog thoroughly chewed and did not gulp the treat.

Sash maintained that the manufacturer did not adequately warn consumers of the potential dangers or pull the treats even though they were aware of the problems.

Greenies, the hard, dark green treats shaped like a bone on one end and a toothbrush on the other are designed to scrub dogs’ teeth while being chewed. They have become extremely popular in recent years, with pet owners snapping up more than 300 million a year.

Last year S&M NuTec did reformulate the product for easier digestibility and repackage to make the warning more noticeable.

Source – Business Week

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