Court Approves Charleston Wipes Settlement Agreement
The U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina recently approved a settlement agreement between NACWA member Charleston Water System (CWS) and major U.S. wipes manufacturer Kimberly-Clark.
The first-of-its-kind settlement requires Kimberly-Clark to bring its Cottonelle Flushable Wipes products into compliance with the flushability standards developed by international municipal wastewater associations, including NACWA, and to change its labeling practices for certain other non-flushable wipes in exchange for marketing opportunities and indemnification against certain future suits from the clean water community.
Notably, the settlement does not impact the ability of NACWA members to seek damages or other monetary relief from Kimberly-Clark caused by wipes-related blockages, but it does enjoin NACWA members from bringing certain claims for injunctive relief, such as those related to how Kimberly-Clark’s flushable wipes must perform and the labeling of non-flushable wipes.
CWS has been represented by NACWA Legal Affiliate AquaLaw, as well as the firm Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP, throughout its class-action lawsuit against Kimberly-Clark and multiple other manufacturers and distributers of so-called “flushable wipes.” CWS’s litigation against the other wipes companies remains ongoing.
Please contact NACWA Chief Legal Counsel Amanda Aspatore with any questions.