March 18, 2024

Statement on Dismissal of Dancer v. USA

On March 15, 2024, a federal judge dismissed Dancer v. United States of America, an environmental lawsuit that was filed in June 2023 against Graphic Packaging and 21 other defendants, including the City of Kalamazoo, the State of Michigan, the United States of America and several federal, state and local officials. We appreciate the Court’s careful consideration of this case and recognition that the complaint lacked legal merit.   

Graphic Packaging and the other defendants had asked the Court to dismiss the case because it contained insufficient, improper and false allegations. The Court agreed. Earlier, the Court had granted Graphic Packaging’s request to strike from the case the completely baseless allegations against the company of environmental racism and corrupt coordination with a state elected official. In its order dismissing the case, the Court ordered the plaintiffs’ lawyer to show cause why he should not be sanctioned for filing a complaint with such unfounded and derogatory allegations.  

We take our community’s health and safety very seriously, and we take pride in our responsibility as a good neighbor, community partner and employer to 750 people at our Kalamazoo manufacturing facility. While we are pleased with the Court’s ruling and remain proud of our work and our record in Kalamazoo, we will continue to seek solutions to help improve the environment. We have invested millions of dollars in ongoing facility improvements and air monitoring equipment.  Since 2021, these investments have driven an 81% reduction in our hydrogen sulfide emissions levels, which were already under state limits. We will continue to work alongside city leaders and state and federal regulators to achieve further progress. However, we will also defend ourselves vigorously against false and frivolous claims.