Chemours Co. gained a court stay an increasingly bitter dispute with former parent DuPont Co. over environmental liabilities.
Lawyers for DuPont continue to press for the matter to go to arbitration under the terms of the spin-off agreement. Chemours is seeking $4 billion. DuPont had earlier lost a bid to keep the contents of the suit confidential.
The suit includes DuPont and Corteva, the agriscience business spun out of the merger of Dow and DuPont. DuPont, Chemours and Corteva are all based in northern Delaware.
Delaware Vice Chancellor Samuel Glasscock last week ordered a stay on arbitration citing potential damage to Chemours. Glasscock is also weighing a motion from DuPont to dismiss Chemours’ suit.
The case generated headlines last week when The News Journal (subscribers only) reported claims made by DuPont in a hearing before Glasscock over the use of arbitration.
According to the story, DuPont lawyers took note of a case in Kentucky where exotic dancers claimed they were coerced into signing an arbitration agreement after being plied with alcoholic beverages. The court ruled in favor of arbitration over the dancers’ claims.
Chancery Daily (subscription) reported that Chemours claims the arbitration agreement is invalid since it was approved by board members who were tied to DuPont and later resigned.
Chemours has continued to argue that DuPont did not fully disclose the extent of environmental liabilities for Chemours operations. A water contamination issue made its way to Hollywood, with the film Dark Waters, now showing in theaters. DuPont claims the film based on the work of a lawyer in Ohio, has inaccuracies.
At the time of the 2015 spin-off, critics claimed the deal was designed to offload, DuPont’s environmental legacy costs. DuPont denied those claims.
Concern over the future of Chemours led to its stock price dropping below $4 a share. Shares later rose as high as $57 in 2017, before dropping back to today’s figure of $18. (See earlier story).