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Invista Sues DuPont for Plant Conditions
Wednesday March 26, 5:49 pm ET

Invista Sues DuPont Over Safety and Environmental Conditions at Former DuPont Plants

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) -- Textile and chemical maker Invista said Wednesday it has filed suit against chemical maker Dupont, claiming plants it acquired from DuPont had numerous safety and environmental violations.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York, seeks compensatory damages of at least $800 million and punitive damages.

The lawsuit stems from a $4 billion deal in 2004 under which the Witchita, Kan.-based Invista assumed control of dozens of DuPont plants worldwide. Invista claims that within weeks of closing the deal, it discovered serious safety and health violations.

Invista spokeswoman Mary Beth Jarvis said the violations were not discovered during negotiations because DuPont "allowed limited review of the facilities prior to the sale," but promised to take full responsibility for fulfillment of regulatory requirements while it owned the facilities.

"This lawsuit is a really a last resort after more than three years of trying to get DuPont to live up to its responsibilities," Jarvis said.

DuPont General Counsel Stacey J. Mobley said the allegations "lack merit and cannot be supported by evidence or the law," adding they are based on a contract dispute and appear to be "opportunistic efforts, including funding for Invista's production capacity expansions and other earmarked capital improvement projects."

The lawsuit involves 14 plants in five countries -- Victoria, LaPorte and Orange, Texas; Camden, S.C. ; Seaford, Del.; Chattanooga, Tenn.; Waynesboro, Va.; Maitland and Kingston, Ontario, Canada; Wilton, Gloucester, and Maydown, U.K; Dordrecht, Netherlands; and Paulinia, Brazil.

Shares of Wilmington, Del.-based DuPont declined 47 cents to close at $46.83 in trading Wednesday.

Source: Associated Press

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