The story of Victor Pet Food, a pet food company owned by the company that has been under scrutiny since the deaths of two pet lovers, is a complex one.
Victor’s CEO, Scott Smith, was fired over the deaths in 2016 of his wife, Susan Smith, and their two children, Christopher and Stephanie, after the company failed to meet standards of quality and safety for its pet food.
According to a lawsuit filed by Susan Smith’s attorneys, the company was responsible for at least two deaths, including the deaths that took place at the company’s New York City pet store in 2016.
In that lawsuit, the attorney general of New York, Eric Schneiderman, also filed a civil suit against the company.
In the suit, Schneiderman accused Victor of “negligently, knowingly, and recklessly” violating state and federal law by selling the contaminated pet food without adequate oversight, and for “failing to properly store the contaminated products and for failing to report the presence of the contamination in the food.”
In a statement, Victor said that “it is deeply saddened by the death of our employees and the loss of Christopher and Stephane Smith,” and that the company is cooperating fully with authorities.
The company also said that it has “investigated numerous potential causes” of death.
The allegations in the suit come at a time when many companies are grappling with the death toll from a massive outbreak of coronavirus, which has claimed the lives of at least 6,300 people in the U.S. and more than 40,000 worldwide.
The New York Times reported on Monday that Victor had received $4.4 million in federal funding, but did not say whether it would continue to receive money from the Food and Drug Administration.
In an interview with CBS News’ “60 Minutes” last month, Schneidermann said that he believes that the FDA was complicit in the deaths, saying, “They allowed this company to continue, they allowed the food to be sold and allowed the company to get away with it.”
Victor Pet Foods is owned by Peter and Elizabeth Schmitz, who were both former executives of the United States Postal Service.
They purchased the company in 2015.
According the lawsuit, Peter Schmitzer died in 2017 after suffering from a heart attack, and Elizabeth died in 2016 after suffering a stroke.
The couple, along with a third person, were found to have been contaminated with pet food from the Victor company.
The suit alleges that the Schmitzes used their position to promote the tainted pet food as “natural.”
The suit also alleges that Susan Smith and her family were “victims of an unprovoked, unprovised, and malicious conspiracy.”
The lawsuit seeks compensatory and punitive damages for the victims of the company and for Schneiderman’s office.