North Carolina Supreme Court affirms commercial court’s jurisdiction over DuPont, allowing attorney general’s case to move forward

BRANDON COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) — The North Carolina Supreme Court has rejected DuPont’s attempt to dismiss a lawsuit brought by Attorney General Josh Stein on jurisdictional grounds, according to a release from the Attorney General’s Office.

“People must be able to trust that the water they drink is safe. We allege that DuPont and Chemours have been dumping chemicals into the Cape Fear River – and we intend to hold them accountable for the damage to the nation’s resources. I applaud and appreciate the court decision Let the case move forward,” Stein’s office said in a release.

In short, the court said DuPont deliberately attempted to restructure their company to reduce their liability. The court didn’t buy it, writing that while personal jurisdiction “prevents the threat of litigation in arbitrary jurisdictions, it is not a way of weaponizing plaintiffs by enabling defendants to evade liability for potential torts. Tool of.”

“But according to the state, that’s exactly what EI DuPont de Nemours and Company (‘Old DuPont’) is trying to do.”

The state filed a lawsuit in 2020 against DuPont de Nemours and Company for their use of PFAS in their facilities, according to the court’s opinion. DuPont reached a $300 million class-action settlement in West Virginia over PFOA emissions and a $670 million settlement in a multi-district lawsuit, the state said, and DuPont restructured to reduce further liability.

The DuPont that existed before the reorganization will be called “Old DuPont”. The old DuPont performance chemicals business, including the current Chemours Fayetteville plant facility, was transferred to a wholly owned subsidiary called Chemours. Chemours became a separate public company, but the state said it deliberately didn’t have enough resources to pay down the old DuPont’s debt. Chemours reportedly had $6.3 billion in assets and $6.2 billion in liabilities when it became an independent company.

Old DuPont and Dow Chemical Company are reorganized into holding company DuPont de Nemours, making Old DuPont and Dow Chemical Company subsidiaries.

The top holding company acquired “the majority” of the old DuPont’s assets.

DuPont de Nemours creates new lines of business and two new companies: Dow, Inc. owns the old Dow Chemical Company as a subsidiary, and Corteva holds the old DuPont. Then, the court said, the old DuPont moved their lines of business to other parts of DuPont Denemore that were less valuable than those lines of business. The value of the old DuPont has since declined, at one point falling to minus $1.1 billion, the court said.

Then, the state said, DuPont Denimours spun off Cortiva, which held the old DuPont and Dow companies. into their own public company.

DuPont de Nemours and Corteva argued in their motion to dismiss that the blame shouldn’t fall on them because they are “just holding companies” and outside of North Carolina. The Commercial Court disagreed, so DuPont and Corteva appealed.

The State Supreme Court affirmed the Commercial Court’s decision.

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