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Lumber Liquidators Lawsuit Consolidation Sought Over Laminate Flooring Issues

  • Written by: Austin Kirk
  • 5 Comments

As a growing number of lawsuits continue to be filed over problems with Lumber Liquidators laminant flooring, which may emit dangerously high levels of formaldehyde, a motion has been filed with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) seeking to consolidate all cases for coordinated pretrial proceedings. 

A group of plaintiffs are seeking to establish a federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) for all Lumber Liquidator lawsuits filed over laminate flooring issues, which would centralize the cases to reduce duplicative discovery into common issues, avoid conflicting pretrial rulings from different judges and serve the convenience of the parties, witnesses and the courts.

According to a motion for transfer (PDF) filed on March 9, at least 10 class action lawsuits have been filed nationwide over Lumber Liquidators flooring, which all allege the company has violated consumer fraud and protection laws.

A growing number of complaints have been brought in recent weeks, following a recent segment that aired on 60 Minutes, which found that certain Lumber Liquidator flooring imported from China and sold in California failed to meet the state’s formaldehyde emissions standards.

Some experts suggest that tens of thousands of homes in the state, and potentially hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses nationwide, may be contaminated with toxic Chinese flooring.

Formaldehyde is a chemical used to manufacture building materials, resins, household products and is used as an embalming agent. It is classified as a probable carcinogen by the EPA and was determined by the National Academy of Sciences to cause cancer in humans. However, the EPA has never passed regulations which set acceptable formaldehyde gas levels for flooring.

Common symptoms of exposure to formaldehyde may include respiratory symptoms, eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches, nausea, chest pain, vomiting and rashes. The chemical has been linked to some forms of cancer and leukemia.

Investigators with a nonprofit group called Global Community Monitor says it tested more than 150 boxes of laminate flooring at various stores around California.

Researchers said that, on average, the Chinese-made Lumber Liquidators laminate flooring contained more than six to seven times the state standard for formaldehyde. Some samples contained nearly 20 times the acceptable amount of formaldehyde, the researchers warned.

A number of states are launching investigations into Lumber Liquidators flooring as a result of the 60 Minutes segment and complaints from consumers. Attorneys general in both New York and Connecticut have recently announced probes into the flooring and Lumber Liquidator’s business practices, and officials in California say they are considering an investigation as well.

Lumber Liquidators has continued to defend the quality of its flooring. On its webpage, the company has issued a statement claiming that it’s flooring is safe and legal and posted its own test results indicating that its flooring meets state standards.

In the coming months, it is expected that a growing number of Lumber Liquidator lawsuits will be filed nationwide, which some plaintiffs propose should be centralized in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, for coordinated pretrial proceedings before District Judge Jon S. Tigar.

The U.S. JPML is expected to schedule oral arguments for an upcoming hearing session in Minneapolis, Minnesota that is set for May 28, 2015.

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5 comments

  1. Lyrae Reply

    I just had a heck of a time returning my floor. I had a receipt,and flooring was unopened. The salesman tried numerous times to talk me out of returning.first he told me it wasn’t within 30 days. My receipt is dated 2/19/15, today is 3/18/15. I told him that Feb was a short month and to count the days. He counted 27 days and agreed to the return. I told him I was returning due to the recent news accounts He told me there was formaldehyde in my shoes and my glasses and that I was fine. He then told me that the news accounts are untrue. That a man bet that their stock would decrease, put out a false story that decreased the stck and he made 1.7 mil. He said the flooring has been tested and it’s fine. He said he had 2,000 sq feet and he has a baby and he feels safe. I disputed the 20% restocking fee and he said there was nothing he could do about that. When he went to refund me, he said that since I paid cash, that I would have to wait 3-5 weeks for a corporate check. I’m being punished for paying cash. He said if I had paid with a credit card he would have refunded the card.ni pulled out my debit card and told him it was the same as cash and to put the refund there. He said it was against policy. Hope I get my refund before this company goes belly up!

  2. Dr. Rodney Reply

    Just like Lyrae I was getting headaches and feeling sick all the time when in my home. The main floor is about 98% of the Lumber Liquidators wood flooring as it was less expensive then their carpet. I had all the problems in returning the flooring as Lyrae did as the came out and installed it. We had it tested and we told to pull it out and replace it by our insurance company. But they would only cover 40% of the cost and it had been “used” so it was not worth the price I paid to have it installed. we got completely screwed, as the chemicals’ in the flooring gave me cancer.

  3. Angie Reply

    Hello, Had laminate flooring installed about 2 years back over a large amount of our house. Shortly thereafter, I had a miscarriage and my husband also started having respiratory problems. He still to this day has respiratory issues and he only notices it when he is home. When he is at work or gone for a week on vacation, etc he is fine. It is still in our house. We have 3 young children. We do not know what to do. I did the test kit and they have failed to provide me with the results despite trying to contact the lab. HELP!

  4. Frances Reply

    Is the lawsuit regarding defective bamboo still open?

  5. Barry Reply

    Hi my name is Barry and I believe I was exposed to the Morning star bamboo on a job sight and am now weeks later I’m in the Hospital fighting for my life with AML and would like to know If there is anything I can do about it. Thanks.

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