Regardless of where you live, from California to New York and everywhere in between, there is a good chance you have used a flushable wipe in the past. You probably didn't give it a second thought as to the possible damage you might incur to your plumbing.
A New York man has filed a class-action lawsuit against the makers of these wipes, citing trouble with his plumbing after flushing these down the toilet. The complaint sums up the lawsuit by saying, "The defendants should have known that their representations regarding flushable wipes were false and misleading."
In the lawsuit filed on Feb. 21 in New York, both Kimberly-Clark and Costco Wholesale corporations are cited. The lawsuit is seeking damages of at least $5 million.
Class-action lawsuits represent more than one person, and in this case, there are more than 100 people involved. The lawsuit claims that consumers from all over the country have been forced to deal with flooding, clogged pipes and other plumbing issues due to the flushing of such wipes.
In the past six years alone, New York City's Department of Environmental Protection has been forced to spend approximately $18 million to manually remove these wipes from the local sewer system. Even when these make it through a home's system, when they get to a treatment plant, they can shut down the equipment.
This class-action lawsuit is of great interest to many people, due to the fact that consumers contribute to the wipes market that has grown into a $6 billion per year industry.
Class action lawsuits are taken on by attorneys with experience representing large groups of people. In many cases, a consumer may not even know that others are experiencing the same problem until they speak with an attorney about seeking compensation for their damages and losses.
Source: ABC News, "Flushability of Wipes Spawns Class-Action Lawsuit" U-Jin Lee, Mar. 04, 2014