December 2016: An amended complaint was filed in the state court action against Procter & Gamble and Nehemiah Manufacturing Company. Specifically, the complaint alleges that the companies deceptively market Pampers Kandoo flushable wipes as “flushable” when, in reality, they are not. According to the complaint, the wipes do not disintegrate when flushed and clog and damage plumbing pipes, septic tanks, and sewage lines. (Machlan et al v. Procter & Gamble Company et al, Case No. 14-538168, Superior Court of the State of California – County of San Francisco)
October 2016: This federal court action was voluntarily dismissed, the reasons for which have not been disclosed. The named plaintiff’s claims were dismissed When a complaint is dismissed without prejudice, an amended version of the complaint can be refiled..
January 2015: A federal judge sent the plaintiffs in a false advertising class-action lawsuit against Procter & Gamble and Nehemiah Manufacturing Company back to state court to pursue their claims for injunctive relief (e.g., a court order prohibiting the companies from continuing to deceptively market the wipes as “flushable”).
The complaint, which was originally filed in state court in 2014 and later transferred to federal court, alleges that the companies deceptively market Charmin Freshmates wipes and Pampers Kandoo wipes as “flushable” when, in reality, they are not. According to plaintiffs, the wipes are not suitable for flushing down a toilet because they do not disintegrate like toilet paper and they can damage and clog pipes, septic systems, and sewage pumps.
The federal judge found that the named plaintiff did not have standing to pursue injunctive relief in federal court because the “previously-deceived-but-now-enlightened” named plaintiff cannot show that he will be harmed (i.e., deceived into believing that “flushable” meant “suitable for flushing”) in the same way again.
In addition, the judge dismissed the claims that Procter & Gamble deceptively markets Charmin wipes finding that the named plaintiff did not have standing (i.e., a proper basis to sue) because he did not purchase the Charmin wipes. Though the judge dismissed these claims with prejudice as to the named plaintiff (meaning that the named plaintiff cannot refile these claims), the judge stated that another plaintiff who did purchase the Charmin wipes may renew the claims.
The judge allowed the plaintiffs to continue to pursue their claims for monetary relief in federal court. (Machlan et al v. Procter & Gamble et al., Case No. 14-cv-01982, N. D. CA.).
For more information about other class-action lawsuits regarding “flushable” wipes and TINA.org’s coverage of the product, click here.