Home Depot is on the receiving end of a proposed class action lawsuit centered on W.M. Barr & Company-made paint stripper products sold under the “Klean Strip” brand name, particularly the “Klean Strip Premium Stripper.” The lawsuit of out Florida’s Middle District alleges the products contain highly toxic methylene chloride, a chemical banned from use in paint strippers and linked to “dozens of deaths around the country,” and that Home Depot moved far too slowly in removing the products from store shelves.
“Products containing methylene chloride are already banned in Europe,” the suit reads. “In sum, methylene chloride’s toxicity is deathly and has no place in a consumer product.”
The complaint points out that Home Depot competitors Lowe’s, Walmart, and Sherwin-Williams stopped selling methylene chloride-containing paint strippers in early 2018. In June of that year, the lawsuit continues, Home Depot issued a statement in which it said it planned to phase out paint removal products that contain methylene chloride and N-methylpyrrolidone (NMP) “by the end of 2018.” As the case tells it, however, Home Depot was too late to the party in removing toxic paint stripper products from its stores. Worse, according to the lawsuit, was Home Depot’s approach to phasing out the products, which the case decries as “an obvious measure to ensure that revenue would not be lost from existing merchandise."
Per the plaintiff, the lawsuit states the man purchased the Klean Strip product in October 2018, months after Home Depot announced it would eventually remove such paint strippers from stores. According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff, despite “religiously following label directions,” including using the product outside and with a face mask, developed a lung infection that required hospitalization.