Attorney Gary Graifman Receives Favorable Decisions in Spot-On Pesticide Class Actions

RELEASED: July 5, 2011


Plaintiff’s class action lawyer Gary S. Graifman, a partner with the firm Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, was part of a team of plaintiffs’ counsel who secured favorable decisions in four class actions involving multiple manufacturers of spot-on flea and tick treatments for pets, which were alleged to have caused adverse reactions to dogs and cats, ranging from minor to severe reactions, including death. The defendants had moved to dismiss the cases. The United States District Court for the District of New Jersey granted these motions in part and denied them in part.

The lawsuits involved multiple spot-on (e.g., applied directly to spots on a pet’s body) flea and tick treatment products used on dogs and cats. Manufacturers of these products named in the lawsuits included: Merial Limited, Farnam Companies, Wellmark International, Inc., Hartz Mountain Corporation, Sergeant’s Pet Care Products, Inc., Summit VetPharm, LLC, and Bayer Healthcare, LLC. These products contained pesticides such as Finopril, Methoprene, Permethrin, Pyriproxyfen, Etofenprox and/or Pyrethrin.

In April 2009, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported that there was a noticeable increase in the number of adverse pet reactions involving the spot on pesticides. The plaintiffs involved in the class actions alleged that the pesticides caused skin irritation, neurological problems/seizure-like symptoms, lethargy, weight loss and even death to their pets.

The class action lawsuits centered around four causes of action:

  1. Breach of express warranty
  2. Breach of implied warranty of merchantability
  3. Unjust enrichment
  4. Violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act

In three of the four class actions, the court granted defendant’s motion to dismiss counts two, three and four above because they were subsumed under the New Jersey Products Liability Act (NJPLA). However, the court allowed the plaintiff the opportunity to amend the complaint in order to plead a product liability cause of action under the NJPLA. In the case against Farnam, only the unjust enrichment count was dismissed.

By only partially granting the defendants’ motions to dismiss, the court has allowed the putative class actions to go forward. The plaintiffs’ claims involving breach of express warranty were allowed to proceed in the litigation. This is a victory for the named plaintiffs in these cases as well as the class of people who purchased the dangerous products and whose pets were injured by them.

For more information about the spot on flea and tick removal class actions, or to speak with class action attorney Gary S. Graifman, please call 800-711-5258 or visit Since 1975, Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C., has offered full-service, quality legal representation for clients in New York and New Jersey.

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