UPDATE 2/22/2016: We are no longer pursuing this Lumber Liquidators lawsuit.
Weitz & Luxenberg, P.C., on Wednesday filed a class action lawsuit seeking to make Lumber Liquidators, Inc., pay restitution to consumers who purchased from the home-improvements retailer certain brands of laminate flooring found to emit high levels of health-harming formaldehyde, the law firm announced.
W&L said the class action alleges Toano, Virginia-based Lumber Liquidators knew the flooring gave off unlawfully high levels of potentially cancer-causing formaldehyde fumes, but concealed that information from consumers.
Further, the law firm said its suit alleges Lumber Liquidators told customers the flooring’s formaldehyde emissions met California air-quality standards, the most stringent in the nation, when in fact the emissions did not.
The class action was filed in federal court in Manhattan on behalf of a half-dozen named representative plaintiffs from Texas, New Jersey and New York, the law firm said.
The lawsuit demands that Lumber Liquidators give the six representative plaintiffs — and other members of the class who bought the offending flooring — a full refund of the product’s purchase price and reimbursement for any costs incurred in the original installation, delivery, removal and return of the defective product, W&L said.
Additionally, the lawsuit calls for Lumber Liquidators to pay damages permitted by various states for false advertising and other violations of consumer-protection statutes, W&L said.
Help For Lumber Liquidators Flooring Customers
W&L said the lawsuit filing does not alter the firm’s interest in discussing with purchasers of the defective flooring their legal rights against Lumber Liquidators.
“No one who purchased the laminate flooring that is the subject of this lawsuit should have to live with it, especially since continued exposure to formaldehyde at these levels may cause health effects, as formaldehyde exposure has been linked to myeloid leukemia and nasopharyngeal cancer,” said Robin L. Greenwald, who heads W&L’s Environmental, Toxic Tort & Consumer Protection Unit.
“Purchasers of this Lumber Liquidator laminate flooring can contact us toll-free at 844-400-HELP or through our website, www.weitzlux.com,” she said.
Curt Marshall, also of the Firm’s Environmental, Toxic Tort and Consumer Protection Unit, explained that the formaldehyde problem stems from the glue used to hold the laminate layers together.
“The glue contains much more formaldehyde than it should in order to make each gallon of the adhesive stretch farther, thereby making the unit cost of the glue very inexpensive,” Marshall said.
“It’s all about Lumber Liquidators making bigger profits,” he said. “It’s all about corporate greed.”
The Lumber Liquidators laminate flooring subject to the class action lawsuit is mainly the Dream Home brand’s Kensington Manor, Ispiri, Nirvana and St. James styles, but includes other brands as well.
“Please contact us to determine if your Lumber Liquidator flooring has similar dangerous levels of formaldehyde,” said Marshall.
Impetus for the Lumber Liquidators Class Action
W&L said the class action lawsuit against Lumber Liquidators was spurred by a “60 Minutes” investigative news report that aired on CBS television earlier this year.
The program described lab-test results of flooring samples taken from Lumber Liquidator stores in several states. Virtually all of the tested samples emitted formaldehyde at levels illegal in California, the law firm recounted.
“60 Minutes” also sent undercover reporters to the Chinese factories where the flooring was made. There, they obtained admissions of mislabeling intended to make the product appear compliant with California emissions standards, W&L said.
Also last week, Occupational Health & Safety magazine reported that Lumber Liquidators has not abandoned its claim that the laminate flooring is “100% safe” and pledged to continue selling it.