Kimberly-Clark Calls Connecticut PFAS Lawsuit "Illogical," Seeks Dismissal

kimberly clark pfas contamination lawsuit

Kleenex Maker Fights Back, Calls CT PFAS Lawsuit "Illogical"

Kimberly-Clark is aggressively fighting back against a class action lawsuit filed by Connecticut residents alleging the company contaminated their properties with PFAS chemicals. The lawsuit, filed in March 2024, accuses Kimberly-Clark's New Milford facility of polluting the air and water with these harmful "forever chemicals."

Kimberly-Clark calls PFAs lawsuit “illogical”

In a motion to dismiss filed on May 7, 2024, Kimberly-Clark argues that the lawsuit lacks merit for several reasons:

  • Lack of Causation: The company claims the plaintiffs fail to establish a clear link between Kimberly-Clark's operations and the alleged PFAS contamination on their properties. The lawsuit relies on speculation that the company's manufacturing processes are the source of the contamination, but it doesn't provide evidence.

  • Contradictory Claims: Kimberly-Clark points out inconsistencies in the lawsuit's claims. For instance, the plaintiffs allege higher PFAS levels closer to the facility, which is logical. However, they also claim their properties, further away, have higher contamination than areas directly next to the plant.

  • Unclear PFAS Types: The lawsuit doesn't specify which types of PFAS chemicals Kimberly-Clark allegedly used, in what products, and during what timeframe. This lack of detail makes it difficult to assess the validity of the claims.

Kimberly-Clark maintains that the lawsuit's lack of evidence and contradictory claims warrant its dismissal.

Plaintiffs’ theory of contamination

The original lawsuit, filed in March 2024, accused Kimberly-Clark of contaminating the air and water near its New Milford facility with PFAS chemicals. Residents claimed these "forever chemicals" used in Kleenex production seeped into their properties and drinking water, potentially causing health problems. The lawsuit seeks $5 million in damages, water filter installation, and health monitoring funds for residents.

According to the plaintiffs, there are two theories for how Kimberly-Clark's operations could have caused the contamination:

  1. Airborne Emissions: PFAS chemicals could have been released through smokestacks, traveling long distances before settling on the ground and contaminating water wells.

  1. Landfill Leachate: PFAS chemicals from paper sludge disposed of in a nearby landfill could have leached into the surrounding soil and groundwater.

Kimberly-Clark argues these theories are illogical. They point out that the air dispersal theory wouldn't explain higher contamination levels further away from the facility. Additionally, the lawsuit doesn't specify if the landfill's location aligns with the alleged contamination on the plaintiffs' properties.

Nationwide PFAS concerns

This lawsuit reflects growing national anxieties about PFAS contamination. Similar lawsuits have been filed against major manufacturers like 3M and DuPont, resulting in settlements exceeding $11 billion. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is also taking action, proposing the first-ever federal drinking water limits for certain PFAS chemicals.

The plaintiffs and proposed class are represented by Ian Sloss, Johnathan Seredynski and Krystyna Gancoss of Silver Golub & Teitell.

The Kimberly-Clark PFAs class action lawsuit is DePaul et al v. Kimberly-Clark Corp., Case No. 3:24-cv-00271, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut.



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