SAN FRANCISCO – Lumber Liquidators is facing a federal class-action lawsuit for allegedly orchestrating a "campaign of misinformation," including charges it provided unreliable kits to homeowners seeking to test for formaldehyde emissions from their laminate flooring.
Filed March 31 by consumer-rights law firm Hagens Berman, the lawsuit alleges that Lumber Liquidators sold laminate flooring manufactured in China which contained high levels of formaldehyde, yet labelled the product as meeting or exceeding CARB emissions standards. It also claims the third-party providing the testing kits is being paid by Lumber Liquidators, and that the kits themselves "do not use testing methods that are commonly accepted and that CARB recommends." In addition, the suit states, the home testing kits are "inherently unreliable" and "designed to under-report" the formaldehyde levels in the composite flooring.
The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California and represents consumers in California, Florida and Michigan who purchased the Dream Home line of laminate flooring. The named plaintiffs include multiple cancer survivors and the family of a 4-month-old baby.
“Instead of trying to help remedy the situation, Lumber Liquidators has irresponsibly sought to cover-up these dangers by spreading misinformation, attempting to cloud studies done by accredited laboratories and offering home-testing kits that are designed to mislead,” said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman. “Lumber Liquidators could have saved consumers literal headaches if it had acted in an honest manner after news broke about the dangerously high levels of formaldehyde in its flooring.”
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The suit stems from a March 1 report by CBS' “60 Minutes” claimed that tested samples of Lumber Liquidators laminate flooring manufactured in China were not CARB Phase 2–compliant for formaldehyde emissions, despite labels stating otherwise.
The claim states: “In response to the 60 Minutes report, Lumber Liquidators launched a campaign of disinformation in which it attacked the laboratories that conducted the tests showing that its products exceeded CARB limits for formaldehyde. Lumber Liquidators claimed that the tests the laboratories conducted were improper because the laboratories removed the laminate coating before testing the composite core of the Lumber Liquidators flooring. In fact, CARB specifically recommends that laminate coating be removed before testing.”
Click here to read Hagens Berman's statement about the lawsuit.
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