DuPont Sued in Class Action on Teflon; Damages Sought for Failure to Warn of Potential Health Risks
Miami’s Kluger, Peretz, Kaplan and Berlin Along With Ft. Lauderdale’s Oppenheim Pilelsky Lead Nationwide Effort
WASHINGTON, D.C. and MIAMI – Class action litigation against the E.I. DuPont De Numours Company (NYSE: DD) is being filed in federal courts in states representing more than one-third of the nation’s population. The suits allege that the chemical and manufacturing giant knew for more than 20 years that Teflon and its component chemicals had the potential to make people sick – and hid that fact from consumers.
The lawsuits are spearheaded by Miami-based Kluger, Peretz, Kaplan & Berlin, P.L. and Ft. Lauderdale-based Oppenheim Pilelsky P.A. “The class of potential plaintiffs could well contain almost every American that has purchased a pot or pan coated with DuPont’s non-stick coating, popularly known as Teflon,” Alan Kluger said.
The lawsuits call on DuPont to:
- Pay damages to every member of the class to compensate them for purchasing replacement cookware. As the lawsuit makes clear, DuPont had a duty to warn consumers regarding any potential health hazards of Teflon before they purchased cookware made with Teflon.
- Create a fund for ongoing medical monitoring of consumers who purchased cooking products containing Teflon.
- Create a fund for independent scientific researchers to further investigate the potential for adverse health effects to consumers who used cooking products containing Teflon.
- Require that DuPont provide a warning label on cooking products regarding the potential adverse and harmful effects of Teflon.
“DuPont’s own research has shown that when Teflon is heated, it can emit a variety of toxic gases,” Steve I. Silverman, Kluger Peretz’s litigation chair said. Silverman added “that a scientific advisory board to the EPA has indicated that at least one chemical used to make Teflon is ‘likely to be carcinogenic’ to humans – meaning that the need for public notification is even greater.”
DuPont has consistently represented to consumers in public statements and documents that there is no danger to human health posed from using cooking products that are coated with Teflon. The suit contends that information known to DuPont for decades may prove otherwise. Invented by DuPont in 1938, Teflon is trademarked in 19 countries and has the chemical name polytetrafluoroethylene.
The Department of Justice is also investigating DuPont in connection with its concealment of the company’s 1981 study on its own employees of the effect of a key component of Teflon (Perflouroctanoic acid or PFOA). Earlier this year in May 2005, the Justice Department issued a criminal subpoena to DuPont.
Also in May 2005, DuPont set aside $15 million to respond to civil charges that it hid from the public and regulators the potential health hazards of PFOA stemming from the Environmental Protection Agency’s charges that the company violated the Federal Toxic Substances Control Act from June 1981 to March 2001.
“DuPont has called Teflon a ‘housewife’s best friend,’ but given what we now know, that slogan should be changed,” Ellen Pilelsky, of Oppenheim Pilelsky, said. “Millions of Americans are due a refund and an explanation – and we intend on seeing that they get both,” Roy Oppenheim added. “It is critical that large, multinational companies remain accountable to the American family.”
Kluger, Peretz, Kaplan & Berlin, P.L. (www.kpkb.com) engages principally in the practice of commercial litigation and dispute resolution, bankruptcy and creditors rights issues, intellectual property litigation and transactions, and corporate and real estate transactions. The firm’s headquarters are located at The Miami Center, Seventeenth Floor, 201 S. Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL 33131. The phone number is (305) 379-9000.
Oppenheim Pilelsky, PA (www.oppenheimlaw.com) is a real estate and litigation boutique law firm focused on high profile cases often involving medical malpractice, serious bodily injury, and unfair and deceptive trade practices. Oppenheim Pilelsky, PA is located at 2500 Weston Road Suite 404, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33331 (954) 384-6114.
# # #
For a copy of the lawsuit and to arrange a comprehensive briefing on the case from the legal team, please contact Jason Kemp, 202.973.1353, firstname.lastname@example.org.