Lumber Liquidators is now facing lawsuits for selling Chinese laminate flooring with toxic levels of formaldehyde that were falsely labeled as meeting California emissions standards.
How to Get Your Floors Tested for Formaldehyde
We have been working as quickly as possible to locate an independent laboratory capable of testing large quantities of laminate flooring samples and we believe we have now found two. Click here to read more.
Customers who have laminate floors from Lumber Liquidators can see if they qualify for a free test kit by visiting the website http://www.lumberliquidators.com/ll/testkit and filing out a questionnaire. However, these tests are not comprehensive because they only check formaldehyde in the air 4 feet above the floor, not the flooring itself.
UPDATE: Lumber Liquidators Stock Drops on Regulatory Concerns
August 5, 2015 — Lumber Liquidators stock has plunged another 27% after the company announced impending action by state regulators and posted an unexpected loss for the quarter. Click here to read more.
July 17, 2015 — Lumber Liquidators is facing a growing number of shareholder lawsuits after the stock price plummeted from $117 to $20 and three top executives left the company. Click here to read more.
June 16, 2015 — More than 100 lawsuits accusing Lumber Liquidators of selling Chinese laminate floors with toxic levels of formaldehyde have been centralized (PDF) in one federal court in Virginia. Click here to read more.
June 8, 2015 — The EPA is questioning the usefulness of at-home air testing kits Lumber Liquidators provided to about 26,000 customers who were concerned about formaldehyde emissions. Click here to read more.
June 2, 2015 — At least 118 class action lawsuits have been filed in 30 states against Lumber Liquidators, and a woman from West Virginia has become the latest plaintiff to file a lawsuit (PDF) accusing the company of selling Chinese laminate floors with toxic levels of formaldehyde. Click here to read more.
May 21, 2015 — Lumber Liquidators said today that CEO Robert Lynch has “unexpectedly” resigned. Click here to read more.
May 12, 2015 —Lumber Liquidators has sued its insurers for refusing to provide coverage as it faces a growing number of legal headaches, including class actions and over 100 lawsuits. Click here to read more. Click here to read more.
May 7, 2015 — More than two months after concerns were raised about toxic levels of formaldehyde, Lumber Liquidators said it will pull all of its Chinese laminate flooring off the market until it completes a “sourcing compliance program.” Click here to read more.
May 1, 2015 — Some Chinese-made laminate wood flooring sold by Lowe’s may have a similar issues with formaldehyde levels as flooring sold by Lumber Liquidators, according to a new analysis published by Seeking Alpha. Click here to read more.
April 29, 2015 — The U.S. Department of Justice has opened a criminal investigation into Lumber Liquidators for selling illegally-harvested wood in violation of the Lacey Act. Click here to read more.
April 27, 2015 — A panel of federal judges will meet on May 28 to decide whether to centralize at least 10 class action lawsuits against Lumber Liquidators into one district court in California. Click here to read more.
April 24, 2015 — A growing number of consumers in California say they do not trust home-testing kits provided by Lumber Liquidators for flooring that might contain toxic levels of formaldehyde. Click here to read more.
April 20, 2014 — Lumber Liquidators has been hit with a federal lawsuit in California accusing them of selling at-home testing kits that are not evaluated by an “independent” lab with accreditation for formaldehyde. Click here to read more.
April 15, 2015 — Attorneys representing members of a class action against Lumber Liquidators have filed a motion for injunction to stop the company from providing “unreliable” do-it-yourself test kits for formaldehyde that mislead customers about the safety of their floors. Click here to read more.
April 14, 2015 — Shareholders in Virginia have filed a lawsuit against Lumber Liquidators, accusing them of harming the company by selling laminate floors with dangerous levels of formaldehyde and using illegally harvested wood. Click here to read more.
April 8, 2015 — A couple from Michigan have joined a class action lawsuit accusing Lumber Liquidators of selling unreliable at-home test kits and covering up that the kits do not come from an independent third party, but the company itself. Click here to read more.
April 6, 2015 — Lumber Liquidators has been hit with a lawsuit accusing them of providing free home test kits that do not reliably check formaldehyde emissions from laminate floors. Click here to read more.
March 30, 2015 — A woman from South Carolina believes toxic flooring from Lumber Liquidators is responsible for making her family sick for the last three years. Click here to read more.
March 27, 2015 — A federal class action lawsuit has been filed by four New Yorkers accusing Lumber Liquidators of selling Chinese-made laminate wood floors with dangerous levels of formaldehyde. Click here to read more.
March 25, 2015 — The CPSC has confirmed that they will investigating Lumber Liquidators flooring, but they will not be using “deconstructive” testing methods that found toxic levels of formaldehyde gas emissions. Click here to read more.
March 23, 2015 — Senator Chuck Schumer (D-New York) has asked the CPSC, FTC, and other government safety agencies to investigate formaldehyde emissions from Chinese-made laminate wood floors sold by Lumber Liquidators. Click here to read more.
March 20, 2015 — Several class action lawsuits have been filed in Nevada against Lumber Liquidators, accusing the company of selling Chinese-made laminate floors with dangerous levels of formaldehyde. Click here to read more.
March 18, 2015 — Lumber Liquidators is offering customers a free at-home test kit to check formaldehyde emissions from flooring, and may replace floors that emit toxic levels of the cancer-causing chemical. Click here to read more.
March 16, 2015 — As new lawsuits continue to be filed against Lumber Liquidators, one attorney in California has asked a panel of federal judges to consolidate 10 class actions into a Multi-District Litigation (MDL) in one federal court. Click here to read more.
March 9, 2015 — The founder of Lumber Liquidators says accusations about toxic levels of formaldehyde in their Chinese-made laminate wood products are based on improper tests. Click here to read more.
Toxic Formaldehyde Found in Lumber Liquidators Chinese Laminate Flooring
March 1, 2015 — The CBS News program “60 Minutes” has aired an investigative report highlighting the work of Denny Larson, the executive director of a non-profit, and Richard Drury, an environmental attorney.
The men have filed a class action lawsuit demanding that Lumber Liquidators pay to remove and replace every single board of laminated wood flooring that contains toxic levels of formaldehyde.
They are backed by hedge-fund managers who have bet millions on short-selling the stock. Since last week, the price of the company’s stock has plummeted 40%.
Larson and Drury led an investigation that tested over 100 boxes of Chinese-made laminate that were sold at Lumber Liquidators locations throughout California. Not one product met California’s formaldehyde emissions standards, and some products had levels of formaldehyde 20X higher than the legal limit.
In comparison, laminate flooring from Home Depot and Lowe’s had acceptable levels. American-made laminate flooring from Lumber Liquidators was also acceptable.
60 Minutes Investigates
60 Minutes decided to conduct their own investigation. They collected 31 samples of Chinese laminate flooring at locations all over the United States and hired two labs to test formaldehyde emissions. Thirty of the samples were over California’s emissions limit, and one was 13X higher.
Then the news team then went straight to the source — China. Posing as potential buyers, an undercover team spoke with managers at three factories who openly admitted that products for Lumber Liquidators were falsely labeled as meeting formaldehyde limits.
According to the investigators:
“Employees at the mills openly admitted that they used core boards with higher levels of formaldehyde to make Lumber Liquidators laminates, saving the company 10-15% on the price. At all three mills, they also admitted falsely labeling the company’s laminate flooring as CARB-2, meaning it meets California formaldehyde emissions standards and the new U.S. federal law.”
CPSC Investigates Lumber Liquidators
In March 2015, the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) opened an investigation into formaldehyde emissions from Lumber Liquidators flooring. The federal safety organization has the authority to force companies to issue recalls when their products pose a “substantial hazard” to health or safety. Click here to read more.
How Many Homes are Affected?
Experts estimate that hundreds of thousands of homes in the United States are affected. Lumber Liquidators is now facing a class action lawsuit demanding that the company pay to remove and replace every single board.
Long-Term Health Problems of Formaldehyde Exposure
The long-term health problems of living in a home outfitted with toxic laminate flooring could be devastating, especially for young children who crawl on the floor and breathe fumes near the ground. Formaldehyde is a known cancer-causing chemical. There is no cure for formaldehyde poisoning and many people are left with permanent neurological side effects.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has warned (PDF) about the following side effects of formaldehyde exposure:
- Eye irritation, stinging, burning, watery
- Nose and throat irritation, soreness, runny nose, sneezing, sinus blockage, cancer
- Respiratory problems
- Wheezing and coughing
- Chest tightness
- Allergic contact dermatitis
- Skin rash, blisters, or dry flaky skin
- Attention deficit disorders
- Impaired dexterity, memory, and equilibrium
- And more
Due to these serious health risks, voters in California passed a law known as Proposition 65, which requires warning labels on products that contain carcinogenic (cancer-causing) chemicals. No products sold by Lumber Liquidators carry this warning label.
Lawsuits May Resemble Chinese Drywall Litigation
As the number of lawsuits increases, it could potentially rival a similar litigation involving Chinese-made drywall. Between 2001-2007, the sulfur-emitting drywall was installed in up to 100,000 homes in Florida, Louisiana, and other parts of the South.
Many people who lived in those homes reported unusual metal corrosion problems and chronic health problems. Recently, the CDC warned about side effects like headaches, chronic fatigue, lung problems, and irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat.