Class Action Filed Against Lumber Liquidators
Written By: Rheingold, Valet, Rheingold, Ruffo & Giuffra LLP
In Florida this week a $5 million class-action litigation was filed against Lumber Liquidators. The suit alleged the manufacturer of hardwood and laminate flooring sold materials containing cancer-causing chemicals. More specifically, the case filed in federal court claimed Lumber liquidators "deceptively manufactured, labeled and sold (the) toxic laminate flooring." This is the second class action filed against Lumber Liquidators alleging toxic flooring, the first being filed in California late last year.
Federal agencies were called upon by Florida Senator, Bill Nelson, to investigate the Delaware-based company's flooring. The investigation has been set as a priority because of the possible scope of its effect, thousands of homes possibly containing the chemical laden flooring. The call for an investigation comes on the heels of a 60 Minutes report which sampled laminate flooring manufactured in China, sold in California, Virginia, Florida, Texas, and Illinois.
The 60 Minutes report found only one out of thirty one samples of flooring was compliant with California emissions standards. Lumber Liquidators on the other hand, disputed the network's testing methods and said it complied with U.S. emissions regulations.
From initial reports, formaldehyde, a known cancer causing chemical, is the substance alleged to be found in Lumber Liquidators flooring material above the standards allowed by law. Lumber Liquidators continues to maintain its flooring is safe and complies with the legal standards.
According to Dr. Landrigan, who commented in the 60 Minutes report, long-term exposure at the levels alleged are dangerous because it would increase the risk for chronic respiratory irritation. This could change a person's lung function as well as increase the risk of asthma. In Dr. Landrigan's opinion the levels alleged would not produce symptoms in all adults, but children would be more susceptible to the effects of formaldehyde.