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DuPont, Invista settle environmental lawsuit

By Camille Doty
June 30, 2012 at 1:30 a.m.
Updated July 1, 2012 at 2:01 a.m.


Invista -- a textile and chemical giant whose operations include a plant in Victoria County -- has settled a multi-million dollar lawsuit the company filed against DuPont Co. in 2008.

The lawsuit resulted from a 2004 business transaction in which Invista had purchased DuPont's fibers and resins business and then later discovered extensive environmental safety violations at multiple plants, including the one in Victoria County.

Invista said in court documents that the cleanup cost at those plants exceeded $600 million.

The lawsuit had reached a U.S. District Court in New York and lawyers had begun to argue the case June 4.

However the proceedings were halted Friday when the arrangement was announced.

Invista, based in Wichita, Kan., had sued DuPont, based in Wilmington, Del., for $745 million. Specific terms of the settlement were not disclosed. DuPont also has operations in Victoria County.

Invista purchased DuPont's fibers and resins operation for $4.4 billion in April 2004. Within weeks of the purchase, Invista discovered 680 regulatory violations at 12 plants.

In April 2009, Invista agreed to pay the U.S. Department of Justice $1.7 million in civil fines and spend millions more to fix the environmental violations.

"DuPont repeatedly provided Invista assurances that its safety and environmental commitment was second to none . with respect to environmental and safety issues. We relied on those assurances, said Mary Beth Jarvis, Invista spokeswoman said in a news release at the time of the lawsuit filing.

DuPont responded to the suit, stating it was not responsible to pay for the cleanup costs because Invista had violated the contractual terms.

Ray Geoffroy, vice president and general counsel for Invista said in a news release, "DuPont is an important supplier and a customer, as well as a tenant or landlord to Invista in several locations in which we operate." He also said that the company is pleased the parties were able to resolve the case.

Dan Turner, DuPont's public affairs manager, said his company will not comment beyond the issued news release.

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