Lawsuit addresses violations of safety, environmental requirements while DuPont owned INVISTA sites

New York (March 26, 2008) - INVISTA filed a lawsuit in federal court here today seeking damages and a court order requiring DuPont to fulfill its contractual obligations arising from safety and environmental noncompliance while DuPont owned certain INVISTA sites.

The lawsuit describes widespread and substantial noncompliance that occurred at the manufacturing facilities during DuPont's ownership and seeks compensatory damages in excess of $800 million, plus punitive damages.

"This lawsuit describes DuPont's compliance failures as an owner of these facilities," said Mary Beth Jarvis, INVISTA spokesperson. "DuPont failed to comply with environmental and health and safety laws and regulations, meet permit obligations, and take other actions to protect its employees, the community and the environment prior to selling these assets. What INVISTA has spent since acquiring the facilities and what remains to be spent to remedy DuPont's noncompliance far exceeds the ‘tens of millions of dollars' DuPont claims to have spent on the assets prior to the sale," said Jarvis.

As outlined in the lawsuit, INVISTA has spent approximately $140 million to uncover, report, and correct DuPont's safety and environmental violations. Additional capital expenditures currently estimated in the range of $300 million to $450 million will be required in a nearly final agreement between INVISTA and U.S. federal and state authorities which will require the installation of pollution control systems at the former DuPont facilities in the United States. These required projects will also increase future annual operating costs at the facilities, and those increased costs are included in the claim. Former DuPont plants outside the United States also require additional capital expenditures to correct DuPont's noncompliance.

INVISTA is also seeking punitive damages from DuPont because DuPont knew of several of the more dangerous safety and environmental violations, knew those violations placed its employees and the public at risk, took no action to rectify them, and failed to disclose them to INVISTA.

As specified in the April 30, 2004, purchase and sale agreement, DuPont is responsible for costs associated with correcting noncompliance that existed while it owned these sites. The lawsuit describes more than three years of DuPont consistently refusing to fulfill these obligations.

"DuPont repeatedly provided INVISTA assurances that its safety and environmental commitment was second to none – consistent with how it positions itself to the marketplace as a ‘global leader' with respect to environmental and safety issues. We relied on those assurances, backed up by DuPont's promise in the purchase and sale agreement to take responsibility for any pre-existing noncompliance discovered after closing," said Jarvis.

Less than a month after taking ownership of the former DuPont facilities, INVISTA discovered significant environmental noncompliance at the plants. "INVISTA moved quickly to address these violations and protect employees, the public, and the environment. We promptly reported the noncompliance to regulators, discontinued unsafe practices, and took noncompliant equipment out of service," Jarvis said.

Working with appropriate authorities, INVISTA engaged independent auditors to investigate the former DuPont sites. As described in the lawsuit, widespread noncompliance was discovered. "INVISTA communicated frequently with regulatory agencies and DuPont as problems were found and addressed," said Jarvis. "In addition, INVISTA has worked with authorities on plans to remedy remaining items, which will involve large capital projects that regulatory agencies must oversee."