Volume 86 Issue 13 | p. 16 | Concentrates
Issue Date: March 31, 2008

Invista Files Suit Against Dupont

Department: Business

Synthetic fiber producer Invista has filed a lawsuit against DuPont in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York, claiming that the 14 plants it acquired from DuPont in 2004 didn't comply with safety and environmental laws. Invista, which is owned by Koch Industries, is seeking compensatory damages of at least $800 million plus punitive damages. The company claims that it discovered significant environmental noncompliance at the plants less than a month after taking ownership. Invista says it spent $140 million to uncover, report, and correct DuPont's safety and environmental violations. The company also says that it will need to spend up to $450 million more to meet a nearly final pollution control agreement with federal and state authorities. Additional money will need to be spent outside the U.S., Invista says. Koch acquired Invista for $4 billion. It says the purchase agreement holds DuPont responsible for costs associated with correcting pre-existing noncompliance issues, but that DuPont refused to fulfill these obligations. DuPont General Counsel Stacey J. Mobley responds that Invista's allegations are "grossly exaggerated and misguided." He maintains that the claims are based purely on a contract dispute and that they appear to be an opportunistic effort to fund production capacity expansions and other capital improvement programs.

 
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