The “flushable wipes” class action lawsuit filed by a New York doctor recently last month high interest among the media and the public generally, targeting the wipes that the lawsuit claims clog plumbing systems.
“The defendants should have known that their representations regarding flushable wipes were false and misleading.”
The lawsuit seeks damages of at least $5 million.
The class action lawsuit filed on Feb. 21 in the Eastern District of New York represents 100 people and claims that consumers around the country have suffered from the flushable wipes through clogged pipes, flooding, jammed sewers and problems with septic tanks.
The lawsuit is the latest complaint against the flushable wipes in recent years.
ABC report that over the past five to six years, New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection has spent over $18 million to have these wipes removed by hand from the sewer system, according to Deputy Commissioner Vincent Sapienza.
When the department looked at the sales of flushable wipes, Sapienza said that there was almost a direct correlation between an increase in product sales and an increase in clogs within its sewage treatment facilities.
“The word ‘flushable’ means it won’t clog your toilet or your house, but when it gets to a sewage treatment plant, the wipes wrap around the equipment, shuts it down, and then the treatment plant workers go and manually pull these wipes out,” Sapienza told ABC News on Monday.
The agency recommends that people not flush these wipes and instead throw them out in the garbage can.
The wipes market is a $6 billion-a-year industry with sales growing by 5 to 6 percent annually, according to court papers.