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First Amended Class Action Complaint Filed Against Lumber Liquidators over Allegedly Defective Flooring Products

Mar 3, 2015

Lumber Liquidators is being sued over its allegedly defective flooring products. The lawsuit, which was filed by the national law firm of Parker Waichman LLP in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, alleges that Lumber Liquidators' flooring is prone to premature cracking, splitting, warping and shrinking. The flooring also allegedly contains significantly high levels of formaldehyde, a cancer-causing chemical.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies formaldehyde a known human carcinogen. It has been classified as a probable human carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Lumber Liquidators flooring was recently discussed in a March 1, 2015 airing of the news program "60 Minutes", which looked into the company’s factories in China. While the manufacturer asserts that the flooring is "CARB 2" compliant with California standards, the investigation revealed otherwise. The report also said that some homeowners are ripping up their Lumber Liquidator flooring, but some are unable to pay for a replacement.

According to "60 Minutes", hundreds of thousands of homes nationwide may have Lumber Liquidator flooring manufactured in China, which may have excessively high levels of formaldehyde. The China-based factories were visited as part of the probe. Additionally, a number of boxes of flooring were purchased from retailers in California. Follow-up testing conducted by certified laboratories found that the China-made samples failed formaldehyde emission standards testing. The US-made flooring were also shown to release formaldehyde, but were within the acceptable range. "60 Minutes" also purchased 31 boxes of China-made laminate flooring from stores in Virginia, Florida, Texas, Illinois and New York. Only one of these samples was in compliance with California formaldehyde emissions standards, testing at two certified labs showed.

Lumber Liquidators said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission "On September 26, 2013, sealed search warrants were executed at our corporate offices in Toano and Richmond, Virginia by the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service" looking for information about some of the "wood flooring products." The filing also said that the Department of Justice stated "that it is contemplating seeking criminal charges under the Lacey Act."

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