WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (Legal Newsline) – Kimberly-Clark Corp. has filed a motion to dismiss a class action lawsuit over allegations that the "natural" label on Scott flushable wipes is misleading.
Kimberly-Clark alleges its Scott Naturals flushable cleansing cloths does not make any claims of it being made free of synthetic products and only makes claims that it is made of sustainable resources, according to the April 20 memorandum in support of the motion to dismiss, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Kimberly-Clark believes the complaint should be dismissed because the plaintiffs' interpretation completely ignores the statements that are on the label. The wipes are geared toward environmentally conscious consumers, according to the memorandum.
Kimberly-Clark alleges the plaintiffs in the suit - Heidi Arreola, Tim Dostal and others - didn't read the labels and statements on the flushable wipes tub as being environmentally friendly and instead read them as being free from artificial ingredients.
"But the product never made any such promises, and the statements on each side of the package expressly refer to the product’s environmentally friendly attributes," the memorandum states. "Plaintiffs’ idiosyncratic, litigation-driven reading of the labels cannot support consumer fraud claims."
The company never makes any claims on the product that it is "all-natural" or "100% natural," according to the memorandum.
Arreola and others in the complaint filed their initial complaint last year in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
The plaintiffs claimed that Kimberly-Clark violated New York business laws and the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act, among other things.
They claimed the products are falsely advertised as natural because the products don't actually contain natural ingredients. The products contain sodium chloride, lauryl glucoside and malic acid, according to the suit.
The plaintiffs claim they paid a higher price for a product because they believed it was all natural.
The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory and punitive damages. They are represented by Jason P. Sultzer, Joseph Lipari and Adam Gonnelli of The Sultzer Law Group, P.C. in Poughkeepsie, New York.
Kimberly-Clark is represented by Theane Evangelis and Timothy W. Loose of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in Los Angeles.
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York case number 7:17-cv-05127-CS