Teflon class action

by Walter Olson on July 20, 2005

Two Florida law firms are hoping to extract $5 billion from chemicals giant duPont by alleging that it did not inform consumers of dangers of its nonstick coating Teflon. Although there does not seem to be the smallest evidence that any user of kitchen utensils has ever been harmed by the chemicals used to make the coating, attorney Alan Kluger plans to rely on a misrepresentation theory: “I don’t have to prove that it causes cancer,” he said. Another problem with the suit, say the people at duPont, is that although the chemical perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and its salts are used in manufacturing Teflon, they are not found in the finished product. Kluger, by contrast, asserts that Teflon “contains” PFOA. (John Heilprin, “DuPont sued over Teflon”, AP/USA Today, Jul. 19; Elizabeth M. Whelan (American Council on Science and Health, “The New Litigation Against Teflon Won’t Stick”, ACSH Health Facts and Fears, Jul. 19). More: and here’s Michael Fumento (“Teflon accusation doesn’t stick”, TownHall.com, Jul. 21).