Home Depot Toxic Chemical Methyl Chloride in Paint Strippers Class Action

The first death related to the chemical methyl chloride was documented in 1980, nearly forty years ago, says the complaint for this class action. But the complaint alleges that Home Depot, Inc. continued selling paint strippers containing this toxic ingredient for another thirty-eight years, despite the fact that other, similar retailers had stopped selling them. 

The class for this action is all persons in the US who bought Premium Stripper and other paint stripping products that contain methylene chloride from Home Depot, between January 2014 and the present.

The Obama administration determined that methylene chloride posed unreasonable risks to consumers and intended to ban its use. However, this happened toward its end and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) did not put the ban into practice before the new administration took over. 

Since then, public health advocates have filed a lawsuit, since, the complaint says, “dozens of deaths” have been reported as due to the chemical. Even careful handling does not seem to help: “In one such death, the decedent followed various safety precautions and yet his death certificate identified his cause of death [as] stemming from becoming overcome by chemicals in a paint stripper, chiefly highly toxic methylene chloride. Products containing this chemical have been banned in Europe. 

One of the paint-stripping products that Home Depot sells in its stores is WM Barr & Company’s Kleen Strip Premium Stripper. This product contains methylene chloride.

Home Depot’s biggest competitor is Lowe’s. In May 2018, Lowe’s announced that it would no longer carry products containing methylene chloride. Other large retailers removed products containing the chemical around the same time. However, Home Depot has only said that it “phase out” such products by the end of 2018. 

The complaint claims that “the phase out approach by HOME DEPOT was an obvious measure to ensure that revenue would not be lost from existing merchandise. 

Plaintiff George Munoz bought Premium Stripper from Home Depot in October 2018, just months before the phase-out was supposed to have been complete. The complaint claims that he followed label directions, using the product outside and while wearing an appropriate face mask, he developed a lung infection from the product which caused him to be hospitalized. 

The complaint says Home Depot has breached implied warranties, for merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. It also claims unjust enrichment, negligent misrepresentation, and fraud, plus violation of Florida’s Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act. 

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Home Depot Toxic Chemical Methyl Chloride in Paint Strippers Complaint

January 30, 2019

The first death related to the chemical methyl chloride was documented in 1980, nearly forty years ago, says the complaint for this class action. But the complaint alleges that Home Depot, Inc. continued selling paint strippers containing this toxic ingredient for another thirty-eight years, despite the fact that other, similar retailers had stopped selling them. 

home_depot_paint_stripper_compl.pdf

Case Event History

Home Depot Toxic Chemical Methyl Chloride in Paint Strippers Complaint

January 30, 2019

The first death related to the chemical methyl chloride was documented in 1980, nearly forty years ago, says the complaint for this class action. But the complaint alleges that Home Depot, Inc. continued selling paint strippers containing this toxic ingredient for another thirty-eight years, despite the fact that other, similar retailers had stopped selling them. 

home_depot_paint_stripper_compl.pdf
Tags: Hazardous or Toxic Materials