United States District Court, D. Minnesota
CITY OF WYOMING, MINNESOTA; VILLAGE OF HOLMEN, WISCONSIN; CITY OF ELK RIVER, MINNESOTA; CITY OF MANKATO, MINNESOTA; CITY OF PERHAM, MINNESOTA; CITY OF PRINCETON, MINNESOTA; CITY OF FERGUS FALLS, MINNESOTA; SAUK CENTRE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION; and CHISAGO LAKES JOINT SEWAGE TREATMENT COMMISSION, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
PROCTER & GAMBLE COMPANY; KIMBERLY-CLARK CORPORATION; NICE-PAK PRODUCTS, INC; PROFESSIONAL DISPOSABLES INTERNATIONAL, INC.; TUFCO TECHNOLOGIES INC.; and ROCKLINE INDUSTRIES, Defendants.
E. GUSTAFSON, JASON S. KILENE, JOSHUA J. RISSMAN, AND RAINA
C. BORRELLI, GUSTAFSON GLUEK PLLC, AND SIMON B. PARIS,
PATRICK HOWARD, AND CHARLES J. KOCHER, SALTZ, MONGELUZZI,
BARRETT & BENDESKY, P.C., FOR PLAINTIFFS.
Q. LEWIS, KARL A. BEKENY, DUSTIN B. RAWLIN, I, MICHAEL J.
RUTTINGER, JENNIFER L. MESKO, AND CHELSEA M. CROY SMITH,
TUCKER ELLIS LLP, AND GEORGE W. SOULE AND MELISSA R. STULL,
SOULE & STULL LLC, FOR DEFENDANTS NICE-PAK PRODUCTS, INC.
AND PROFESSIONAL DISPOSABLES INTERNATIONAL, INC.
M. MOEN, FREDRIKSON & BYRON, PA, EMILY JOHNSON HENN,
COVINGTON & BURLING LLP, AND HENRY B. LIU AND CLAIRE
CATALANO DEAN, COVINGTON & BURLING LLP, FOR DEFENDANT
PROCTER & GAMBLE COMPANY.
D. VAN OORT, FAEGRE BAKER DANIELS LLP, FOR DEFENDANT TUFCO
L. MCCALL, SIDLEY AUSTIN LLP, EAMON P. JOYCE, SIDLEY AUSTIN
LLP, AND TRACY J. VAN STEENBURGH, NILAN JOHNSON LEWIS PA, FOR
DEFENDANT KIMBERLY-CLARK CORPORATION.
W. BLACKWELL, S. JAMAL FALEEL, AND EMILY A. AMBROSE,
BLACKWELL BURKE PA, FOR DEFENDANT ROCKLINE INDUSTRIES.
ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS SETTLING
R. TUNHEIM CHIEF JUDGE
brought this putative class action in April 2015 against
companies marketing and selling “flushable
wipes.” (Compl. ¶¶ 1-2, Apr. 23, 2015, Docket
No. 1.) Plaintiffs allege that the wipes do not degrade as
advertised and have caused damages to sewer systems and
wastewater treatment plants. (Id. ¶ 3.)
defendants have reached settlements with Plaintiffs. Tufco
Technologies Inc. (“Tufco”), Procter & Gamble
Company (“P&G”), Nice-Pak Products, Inc.
(“Nice-Pak”), and Professional Disposables
International, Inc. (“PDI”) (collectively the
“Settling Defendants”) all filed stipulations for
dismissal jointly with Plaintiffs. (Order on Stips. for
Dismissal (“Order”) at 2-3, Aug. 7, 2018, Docket
No. 481.) Defendants Kimberly-Clark Corporation
(“Kimberly-Clark”) and Rockline Industries
(“Rockline”) objected. (Id.) The Court
rejected the Settling Defendants' stipulations because
they were not signed by all parties as required by Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 41(a)(1)(A)(ii). (Id. at 3,
City of Wyoming and all Defendants jointly filed a
Stipulation of Dismissal of the City of Wyoming's claims
against all Defendants, also pursuant to Rule
41(a)(1)(A)(ii). (Id. at 3, 6-7.) The Court found
that the stipulation was valid because it was signed on
behalf of all parties. (Id.)
have now filed a Motion to Dismiss the Settling Defendants
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(a)(2).
(Pls.' Mot. to Dismiss Settling Defs., Sept. 26, 2018,
Docket No. 581.) The Settling Defendants move to join the
Motion. (Settling Defs.' Mot. for Joinder (“Joinder
Mot.”), Oct. 4, 2018, Docket No. 590.) Kimberly-Clark
and Rockline oppose the motion to the extent that it seeks
dismissal without conditions. (Kimberly-Clark and
Rockline's Mem. Opp. (“Mem. Opp.”) at 5, 7,
Oct. 17, 2018, Docket No. 604.) Kimberly-Clark and Rockline
ask that the Court impose two conditions: (1) requiring
Plaintiffs to provide settlement related discovery, and (2)
retaining personal jurisdiction over the Settling Defendants.
(Id. at 14, 24.)
Court will grant Plaintiffs' Motion to Dismiss without
conditions. Because Kimberly-Clark and Rockline's request
for a discovery condition is more properly the subject of a
discovery motion, the Court will not impose the condition.
Furthermore, because the deadline for disclosure of witnesses
passed long ago, there is no need for the Court to retain
personal jurisdiction over the Settling Defendants as a
condition of the dismissal.
represent that they reached a settlement with Tufco because
it is a contract-manufacturer of flushable wipes and does not
make labeling decisions, thus it was unlikely to be held
liable. (Pls.' Mem. Supp. at 3, Sept. 26, 2018, Docket
No. 583.) They represent that they reached a settlement with
P&G because its share of the flushable wipes market is so
small. (Id.) Plaintiffs represent that Nice-Pak and