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Fire protection co. Kidde-Fenwal files for bankruptcy over PFAS lawsuits.

Fire Protection Company Kidde-Fenwal Files For Bankruptcy Citing PFAS Lawsuits - Kidde-Fenwal Inc, a subsidiary of Carrier Global Corp (CARR.N) that specializes in fire-fighting systems and fire control systems.


Kidde-Fenwal Inc, a subsidiary of Carrier Global Corp (CARR.N) that specializes in PFAS lawsuits fire-fighting systems and fire control systems, filed for bankruptcy Sunday, as it sags under the pressure of lawsuits alleging “forever chemicals” in its foams for fighting fires have polluted water sources in the vicinity of U.S. airports and military bases.

Kidde-Fenwal applied to seek Chapter 11 protection in Delaware bankruptcy court. The company is looking for an investor to take over its operations and claims the potential liability of the case “substantially exceeds” its capacity to pay.

Since the year 2016, Kidde-Fenwal has been named as an accused in more than 4,400 lawsuits brought by local governments as well as individuals, businesses, and companies and individuals, alleging that aqueous-film-forming foam (AFFF) products have contaminated drinking soil and water by releasing perfluoroalkyl or poly-fluoroalkyl chemicals also known as PFAS and “forever chemicals.” According to court documents, Kidde-Fenwal offered AFFF foam products between 2007 and 2013.

Kidde-Fenwal is among several defendants, 3M Co (MMM.N) and DuPont de Nemours Inc (DD.N), to trial on June 1 in South Carolina federal court, in which AFFF cases have now been brought together.

The lawsuit has cost Kidde-Fenwal just $6 million in 2023. According to its court documents, Kidde-Fenwal owns $318 million in assets and has $200 million in revenue from sales in 2022.

AFFF was developed jointly through 3M along with 3M and the U.S. military in the 1970s. According to court records, it’s primarily been employed to burn out fuel fires at airports and military bases.

Kidde-Fenwal does not produce AFFF products. However, it has previously sold AFFF goods through an affiliate known as National Foam. According to court documents, Kidde-Fenwal sold National Foam in 2013 for $77 million to a firm later renamed New National Foam.

Carrier Global said Monday that it would support Kidde-Fenwal’s efforts in finding an investor in bankruptcy and said that the proceeds from the sale would be able to pay AFFF liabilities and other claims. Carrier claimed the company had “no assurance” that it would receive any money from bankruptcy sales.

Carrier acquired the assets of Kidde-Fenwal after both businesses were separated from United Technologies Corp in 2020. Carrier announced on Monday that Kidde-Fenwal was an independent business and wasn’t a “strategic fit” for Carrier moving forward.

They are present in many items, from cell phones and food containers. They’ve been the focus of an increasing number of lawsuits that link them to cancer, other health risks, and environmental harm. 3M, the main defense in AFFF cases, stated that it plans to cease making PFAS after 2025.

The case is In re Kidde-Fenwal Inc, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, No. 23-10638.

For Kidde-Fenwal: Derek Abbott of Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell; and Justin DeCamp of Sullivan & Cromwell

Learn More: Who Should File an AFFF Lawsuit?

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