Lumber Liquidators has agreed to pay $36 million to resolve all pending class action lawsuits over its Chinese laminate flooring. If you’re covered by the settlement, you should be receiving a letter in the mail or an e-mail instructing you on how to claim your piece. The settlement has been approved by a judge, so notices should be going out in the near future.If you want more information on the litigation, keep reading.
I want to know more about the litigation! Give me a little more background.
Dozens of class actions were filed against Lumber Liquidators. The majority alleged that the company sold flooring that “off-gases” an excessive amount of formaldehyde. The company was also sued for allegedly marketing its “Dream Home” Chinese laminate flooring as “extremely durable” when this may not be the case. Lumber Liquidators has agreed to resolve these claims.
What do I have to do now that the case is settled?
In general, you don’t need to do anything right now but wait. If you’re eligible to claim part of the Lumber Liquidators settlement, you’ll receive a notice via mail or e-mail. This notice will tell you how to file your claim; typically you can file claims for class action settlements online or via regular mail. You can always check back to our settlements page, which will have the Lumber Liquidators settlement website when it's live.
How will they get your e-mail or home address to notify you, you ask? It’s all part of the lawsuit process and really not as creepy as it sounds. Read this for more on that. If you don’t feel like reading, here it is in a nutshell: during the litigation process, Lumber Liquidators most likely had to hand over its customer files and if you bought something from them, you’re probably on it.
Lumber Liquidators Blog Posts
Here are some blog posts we wrote on Lumber Liquidators if you want to know more about the history of this case.
Update 10/26/2017 – Lumber Liquidators agrees to settle the pending claims against it with a $36 million settlement. Read the details here.
Update 8/16/2016 – Lumber Liquidators faces litigation over durability of the Dream Home Flooring. We spoke to an attorney on the case. Read more.
Update 3/23/2016 – Lumber Liquidators pays $2.5 million to settle claims brought against the company by the state of California. Read more.
Update 2/26/2016 – The CDC finds the risk of cancer from formaldehyde in flooring is three times higher than they originally thought. Read more.
Update 10/12/2015 – Lumber Liquidators settles with the Department of Justice. Read more.
Update 3/13/2015 – The first lawsuits are lodged against Lumber Liquidators over the formaldehyde issue. Read more.
Update 3/5/2015 – We spoke with attorneys investigating potential lawsuits against Lumber Liquidators. Our Q&A is featured here.
Below, you will find information we posted when the investigation into Lumber Liquidators and its Chinese-made flooring first began. We talk about the products affected by the formaldehyde scandal, the 60 Minutes report, Lumber Liquidators’ response and what could be recovered in a class action.
Attorneys are investigating potential lawsuits against Lumber Liquidators in light of allegations that the company’s Chinese-made laminate flooring contains dangerous and illegal levels of the chemical formaldehyde. They are looking to determine whether legal action can be taken against the company for injuries, property damage, or both.
Which products are affected?
In December 2014, a lawsuit was filed by a non-profit called Global Community Monitor - the same organization that was featured in 60 Minutes' recent expose of Lumber Liquidators’ Chinese-made laminate flooring. As part of the lawsuit, multiple Chinese-made flooring products were tested for formaldehyde levels and found to contain levels in violation of California law. According to the lawsuit, these products include, but are not limited to:
8 mm Bristol County Cherry Laminate Flooring
8 mm Dream Home Nirvana French Oak Laminate Flooring
12 mm Dream Home Kensington Manor Antique Bamboo Laminate Flooring
12 mm Dream Home St. James Oceanside Plank Bamboo Laminate Flooring
12 mm Dream Home Kensington Manor Warm Springs Chestnut Laminate Flooring
15 mm Dream Home St. James Sky Lakes Pine Laminate Flooring
12 mm Dream Home Ispiri Chimney Tops Smoked Oak Laminate Flooring
12 mm Dream Home Kensington Manor Imperial Teak Laminate Flooring
12 mm Dream Home St. James Vintner’s Reserve Laminate Flooring
12 mm Dream Home Kensington Manor Cape Doctor Laminate Flooring
12 mm Dream Home St. James Cumberland Mountain Oak Laminate Flooring
12 mm Dream Home Ispiri Americas Mission Olive Laminate Flooring
12 mm Dream Home Kensington Manor Glacier Peak Poplar Laminate Flooring
12 mm Dream Home Kensington Manor Golden Teak Laminate Flooring
12 mm Dream Home Kensington Manor Handscraped Imperial Teak Laminate Flooring (SKU 10029601)
12 mm Dream Home Kensington Manor Handscraped Summer Retreat Teak Laminate Flooring
12 mm Dream Home Kensington Manor Sandy Hills Hickory Laminate Flooring
12 mm Dream Home Kensington Manor Tanzanian Wenge Laminate Flooring
8 mm Dream Home Nirvana Royal Mahogany Laminate Flooring
12 mm Dream Home St. James Blacksburg Barn Board Laminate Flooring
12 mm Dream Home St. James Brazilian Koa Laminate Flooring
12 mm Dream Home St. James Golden Acacia Laminate Flooring
12 mm Dream Home Ispiri Poplar Forest Oak Laminate Flooring
12 mm Dream Home Kensington Manor Fumed African Ironwood Laminate Flooring
12 mm Dream Home St. James African Mahogany Laminate Flooring
12 mm Dream Home St. James Chimney Rock Charcoal Laminate Flooring
12 mm Dream Home St. James Nantucket Beech Laminate Flooring
Attorneys are looking into these and other types of Chinese-made laminate flooring.
What can I recover?
Attorneys are trying to determine whether lawsuits can be filed to help Lumber Liquidators customers recover compensation for diminished property value and costs associated with repairing and replacing the flooring. Should lawsuits be filed over personal injuries, these suits may seek compensation for medical expenses and related damages.
How do I get my flooring tested?
If you have this flooring in your home, the attorneys may test it as part of their investigation into your claim.
Investigations find high levels of formaldehyde in products
On March 1, 2015, CBS News aired a 60 Minutes investigation into claims that Lumber Liquidators’ Chinese-made laminate flooring contains dangerous levels of formaldehyde. As part of the investigation, more than 150 boxes of laminate flooring were tested in three certified labs. In all tests, the flooring failed to meet formaldehyde emission standards set by California state law, with some flooring testing almost twenty times over the permissible level. According to the report, the products in question contain such high levels of formaldehyde that they are not legal to sell in California.
Following the initial investigation, 60 Minutes gathered samples of flooring sold in Virginia, Florida, Texas, Illinois and New York. Of the 31 boxes tested, only one was compliant with California emission standards – the same standards that are soon to become the federal norm. The investigation also found that flooring made in Chinese factories was falsely labeled as CARB 2 compliant (the standard for formaldehyde emissions in wood flooring). Footage was obtained showing workers at the Chinese flooring factory openly admitting that Lumber Liquidators products were not CARB 2 compliant because it was cheaper to produce non-compliant flooring.
Nearly two years before the 60 Minutes segment aired, an investigative blog, Seeking Alpha, commissioned a report on samples of the Lumber Liquidators laminate flooring. The toxin levels in the sample were reported to be more than three times the legal limit. Two separate and independent accredited testing labs have confirmed that the samples sent by Seeking Alpha contained over three-and-a-half times the legal level of formaldehyde.
How did the company respond to the claims?
When the results of Seeking Alpha’s independent reports were made public, Lumber Liquidators initiated a clearance sale of the affected products. It is not known if this was in response to the report’s findings or a pre-planned decision. The company has also responded to the claims made by 60 Minutes. In an official statement, Lumber Liquidators defended the quality of its products, questioned the methodology used by investigators, and reassured customers that it complies with CARB requirements (describing the California Air Resources Board as “the only regulator of composite core emissions”). In response to the footage of Chinese factory workers admitting Lumber Liquidator products are not CARB 2 compliant, the company says it has begun its own investigation and that all suppliers have been questioned. The company also states that it has documentation to support every stage of its production process.