Kimberly-Clark has agreed to pay a US$20 million settlement to end claims on its flushable wipes, that actually damage and clog pipes. The settlement will potentially benefit consumers nationwide.
In a proposed settlement filed in a New York federal court, Kimberly-Clark agreed to the settlement to end two class actions lodged against it for similar complaints.
If approved, anyone in the United States who bought the allegedly damaging wipes between May 2011 and the date the settlement is approved, could be able to claim to get funds back.
Under the agreement, settlement class members who submit claims without proof of purchase could get up to US$7 while those with proof of purchase could get up to US$50.60.
“The total monetary relief available to each class member under the settlement is greater than in any other flushable wipes-related settlement to date”, the memo states.
KIMBERLY-CLARK FLUSHABLE WIPE LAWSUITS
The litigation stretches back more than eight years to when named plaintiff D. Joseph Kurtz filed a proposed class action in February 2014, and Gladys Honigman filed a similar proposed class action in May 2015.
Kimberly-Clark and the consumers reached the agreement after “substantial discovery” and negotiations, the proposed settlement states.
“The settlement is noteworthy given the price premium associated with the products’ ‘flushable’ representation, and the products’ performance during the settlement class period”, the consumers say.
MORE FLUSHABLEWIPE LAWSUITS PLAY OUT NATIONWIDE
The lawsuit comes after a judge last year granted preliminary approval in a Kimberly-Clark settlement over class action claims from the Charleston, South Carolina, water system that certain flushable wipes damaged the city’s sewer system.
Kimberly-Clark is the first to settle with Charleston, and last year a federal judge ruled that Costco, CVS, Walmart, Target and others can’t escape the class action lawsuit alleging they also made “flushable” wipes that allegedly caused major problems for the wastewater system of the city.
Other companies are also facing similar charges over their “flushable” wipes that consumers say aren’t actually flushable.