July 01, 2019

Spinoff company’s bombshell court filings say DuPont used cutthroat methods to dodge costs of cleaning up dangerous chemicals

DuPont could have permanently stopped discharging perfluorinated compounds – PFAS – from its Fayetteville Works plant into the Cape Fear River nine years ago, but decided against it in order to foist the liability onto a spinoff company, court documents allege.

The 64-page complaint, filed by Chemours against its former parent company, DuPont, lays out a series of stunning allegations, that if true, reveal the nefarious actions of a billion-dollar company determined to avoid financial and legal responsibility for environmental disasters.

DuPont allegedly underestimated to Chemours the true costs of its environmental cleanups. Instead, DuPont capped the costs at amounts far less than what Chemours had to pay. And an indemnity clause in the corporate documents purports to release DuPont from the legal and financial burden – presumably forever.

DuPont “orchestrated a spinoff of its Performance Chemicals unit into a new company, Chemours, as part of a plan to try to offload its historical environmental liabilities,” the court documents read.

Filed in Delaware court, the documents were supposed to be confidential. However, when Chemours lawyers failed to meet a court-ordered deadline to file a public version, the Associated Press asked the Delaware Supreme Court to unseal the documents, unredacted, which it did on Friday.

The complete article can be viewed here.

Cohen Milstein is Interim Co-Lead Counsel in this consolidated environmental toxic tort class action against E.I. DuPont de Nemours Company, and its former wholly-owned subsidiary, The Chemours Company.

Cohen Milstein’s team is led by Theodore J. Leopold, and includes S. Douglas Bunch, and Alison Deich.