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Legal Woes for DuPont TEFLONŽ

Teflon is a widespread product in many finished products from communications cabling to carpet treatments. A tidal wave of legal woes seems to be rushing to the doorstep of the manufacturer of Teflon. Already suits in the billions are asking for remedy for the failure to disclose public health risks.

Owners of Teflon coated cookware in 20 states and the District of Columbia have joined a lawsuit filed against DuPont Co., claiming the manufacturer failed to disclose possible health risks from using the nonstick pots and pans, attorneys said Monday.

The latest consumers to join the lawsuit are from West Virginia, New Mexico, Arizona and Nebraska, said attorney Kimberley Baer of Des Moines, who represents Iowans and is serving as a liaison for the other plaintiffs. Cookware owners in the District of Columbia have also joined the case, Baer said.

The lawsuit has been moved by a federal judicial panel to Des Moines, where U.S. Magistrate Celeste Bremer is considering motions.

The lawsuit asserts that DuPont knew Teflon could release chemicals that could become toxic when heated at temperatures easily reached when a typical stovetop is set on high. It also claims DuPont continued to tell the government and consumers for years that Teflon was safe even though its own studies showed otherwise.

The lawsuit seeks class-action status, which would allow plaintiff lawyers to argue that they represent potentially millions of consumers who have owned and used Teflon-coated products and seek damages for them all.

The plaintiffs filed documents seeking answers from DuPont on 25 questions and sought 52 documents dating to 1938.

DuPont attorneys complained that the requested information is too broad.

"It would require enormous time and effort to identify and produce the documents plaintiffs have requested and to identify the information necessary to answer the interrogatories plaintiffs have presented," court documents said.

The plaintiffs ask DuPont to identify all the substances used to manufacture Teflon and substances used to attach it to cookware. They ask for the name of any substances that may be emitted when Teflon is heated and a what temperature each is emitted.

They also seek a list of tests, studies or experiments concerning whether Teflon does or may possibly emit any substance when heated.

Try a search on www.google.com for "Teflon toxic" to get a wide scope of information on this issue.

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