KC to settle flushable wipes dispute – Nonwovens Industry Magazine

Kimberly-Clark has agreed to pay a $20 million settlement to end allegations that its flushable wipes are damaging and clogging pipes, with the settlement potentially benefiting consumers nationwide.

In a proposed settlement filed April 5 in federal court in New York, Kimberly-Clark agreed to the settlement to end two class action lawsuits filed against it for similar complaints.

If approved, anyone in the United States who purchased the allegedly damaging wipes between May 2011 and the date the settlement is approved may be able to claim back the funds.

Under the agreement, settlement class members who submit claims without proof of purchase could get up to $7 while those with proof of purchase could get $1.10 per package up to 50 $.60.

“The total monetary relief available to each settlement class member under the settlement is greater than any other disposable wipes-related settlement to date,” the settlement memo reads.

The litigation dates back more than eight years when plaintiff named D. Joseph Kurtz filed a proposed class action lawsuit in February 2014. Gladys Honigman filed a similar proposed class action lawsuit in May 2015.

Kimberly-Clark and consumers reached the agreement after a “substantial discovery” and negotiations, the proposed settlement says.

The lawsuit comes after a judge last year granted preliminary approval in a Kimberly-Clark settlement of class-action lawsuits from the Charleston, South Carolina, water system that some flushable wipes damaged. the city’s sewage system.

Kimberly-Clark is the first to settle with Charleston, and last year a federal judge ruled that Costco, CVS, Walmart, Target and others could not escape the class action lawsuit alleging they also made wipes.” flushable” which would have caused major problems for the city’s sewage system.

Other companies are also facing similar charges for their “flushable” wipes that consumers say aren’t actually flushable. TopCare is facing a class action lawsuit in New York alleging its flushable wipes cause toilet clogs and sewer damage.

CVS is also facing a class action lawsuit in New York over its CVS Health Disposable Cleansing Wipes and CVS Health Maximum Strength Formula Medicated Wipes.

In response to the litigation, KC remains committed to further improving the performance” of its flushable wipes under the settlement. The company said its Cottonelle wipes “already meet widely accepted flush specifications and are tested with plumbers.

Meanwhile, INDA, the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry Association, and other industry stakeholders continue to promote testing and labeling requirements as well as educational efforts to stop improper rinsing of baby wipes and other non-dispersible wipes. Already, several US states have adopted clear labeling requirements for non-flushable wipes.