New York consumers who purchased Charmin Freshmates flushable wipes thinking they would be safe for their plumbing, could get up to $50 from a class action settlement.
Class Members are limited to those in New York who purchased Charmin brand pre-moistened wipes that contained the word “flushable” on their packaging. The purchases must have been made between May 23, 2011 and March 6, 2020.
A number of class action lawsuits were filed over Charmin Freshmates “flushable” wipes. According to the complaints, the wipe maker, Procter & Gamble, falsely advertised that the product could be flushed down the toilet. However, consumers complained that the wipes clogged up and otherwise negatively affected plumbing and septic systems.
“Although the packaging on the wipes states that the wipes are ‘flushable,’ ‘septic safe,’ and ‘safe for sewer and septic systems,’ the Complaint alleges that the wipes are not suitable for disposal by flushing down a toilet, are not regarded as flushable by municipal sewage system operators, do not disperse upon flushing, and routinely damage or clog plumbing pipes, septic systems, and sewage lines and pumps,” states the settlement agreement.
According to one Charmin class action lawsuit, Charmin Freshmates flushable wipes did not sufficiently breakdown to pass through pipes. This allegedly causes them to build up in plumbing systems, resulting in clogged toilets, backed up sewers, and other expensive plumbing and septic problems.
Consumers complained of problems that cost hundreds of dollars to fix that plumbers told them were the result of flushing the so-called flushable wipes. The plaintiffs claimed that Procter & Gamble knew that the wipes would not appropriately break down to smoothly run through plumbing and septic systems; however, they falsely advertised the wipes as “flushable.”
In addition, the plaintiffs stated that they and other consumers paid a premium for Charmin Freshmates flushable wipes, and other Charmin brand wipes, because the labels indicated they would be safe to flush down the toilet.
In one class action lawsuit, Procter & Gamble attempted to argue that the problems were the result of old plumbing. However, a New York federal judge agreed to certify two of six Charmin Freshmates flushable wipes class action lawsuits.
Ultimately, Procter & Gamble agreed to settle class action lawsuits, although they refuse to admit that Charmin Freshmates flushable wipes do not perform as advertised.
“P&G denies all of [the plaintiff’s] allegations. P&G, to avoid the costs, disruption, and distraction of further litigation, and without admitting the truth of any allegations made in or related to the Action, or any liability with respect thereto, has concluded that it is desirable that the claims against it be settled and dismissed on the terms reflected in this Agreement,” notes the settlement agreement.
Under the terms of the Charmin Freshmates flushable wipes class action settlement, Procter & Gamble has agreed to both pay Class Members who make valid claims and make some changes to how it produces and manufactures the product.
Specifically, the settlement agreement points out that Procter & Gamble has stopped using a substance in its wipes that may have led to the problems.
According to the settlement, synthetic biocomponent fibers, also known as polyester/polyolefin fibers, haven’t been used in the wipes since 2016. Procter & Gamble have agreed to discontinue use of these fibers for at least another two years.
Procter & Gamble have also agreed to include the following statement on its products: “Your satisfaction is guaranteed. For details of our refund program go to our website at https//www.charmin.com/en-us/about-us/flushable-wipes-guarantee.” In addition, the company has agreed to provide details about a satisfaction guarantee on the website, including information about refunds.
Further, the packaging on Charmin Freshmates flushable wipes will include a statement indicating that consumers should use the wipe in only “well-maintained plumbing systems,” along with language regarding industry standards, and remove statements indicating the product is “septic safe” and “safe for sewer and septic systems.”
The Charmin Freshmates flushable wipes class action settlement will also provide partial refunds to Class Members who made their purchases in New York.
Class Members can claim up to $50.20, depending on the number of products purchased and if they retained proof of purchase. Class Members with proof of purchase can claim $1.20 for the first package of wipes they purchased and $1 for each one after, for a total of $50.20.
Proof of purchase includes the label or bar code or a copy of an itemized sales receipt showing the retailer and date of purchase.
Class Members without proof of purchase can claim $.70 for each package of Charmin Freshmates flushable wipes they purchased up to a total of $6.30.
Claim forms are available online or it can be printed and mailed to the claims administrator. Claim forms must be submitted and received by Aug. 22, 2020.
Consumers who wish to opt out of or exclude themselves from the Charmin Freshmates flushable wipes class action settlement must do so by June 25, 2020.
Consumers who purchased Charmin Freshmates flushable wipes or other pre-moistened wipe with “flushable” on the packaging sold under the Charmin brand in New York between May 23, 2011 and March 6, 2020.
Up to $50.20.
- Consumers with proof of purchase can claim $1.20 for the first package they purchased, and $1 for subsequent purchases, up to $50.20.
- Consumers without proof of purchase can claim $.70 per package they purchased for a total of $6.30.
Proof of Purchase
Proof of purchase is not required, but Class Members can claim more money if they provide the label or bar code portion from the package, rather than a photocopy or digital image.
Alternatively, Class Members can submit an original or copied image of an itemized sales receipt. The receipt must show the date and place of purchase, the name of the product, and the price paid.
NOTE: If you do not qualify for this settlement do NOT file a claim.
Remember: you are submitting your claim under penalty of perjury. You are also harming other eligible Class Members by submitting a fraudulent claim. If you’re unsure if you qualify, please read the FAQ section of the Settlement Administrator’s website to ensure you meet all standards (Top Class Actions is not a Settlement Administrator). If you don’t qualify for this settlement, check out our database of other open class action settlements you may be eligible for.
Claim Form Deadline
Belfiore v. The Procter & Gamble Co., Case No. 2:14-cv-04090, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
UPDATE: The N.Y. Charmin Freshmates Wipes Class Action Settlement was granted final approval on July 27, 2020. Please note that claims will not be paid until after the claim deadline passes. Top Class Actions will continue to provide updates as we learn more.
Chet B. Waldman
WOLF POPPER LLP
Harold P. Weinberger
Eileen M. Patt
KRAMER LEVIN NAFTALIS & FRANKEL LLP
Top Class Actions is a Proud Member of the American Bar Association
LEGAL INFORMATION IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE
©2008 – 2020 Top Class Actions® LLC
Various Trademarks held by their respective owners
This website is not intended for viewing or usage by European Union citizens.
Please note: Top Class Actions is not a settlement administrator or law firm. Top Class Actions is a legal news source that reports on class action lawsuits, class action settlements, drug injury lawsuits and product liability lawsuits. Top Class Actions does not process claims and we cannot advise you on the status of any class action settlement claim. You must contact the settlement administrator or your attorney for any updates regarding your claim status, claim form or questions about when payments are expected to be mailed out.