Cali Bamboo, LLC’s bamboo flooring is at the center of a proposed class action that alleges the product is prone to “premature cracking, splitting, warping, and shrinking” well before the reasonably expected end of its lifespan. The 25-page suit pegs the apparent defect on the bamboo flooring’s inability to “withstand foreseeable ambient moisture,” and says the problem could potentially damage other building components.
The plaintiff, an Ohio property owner, claims he purchased the defendant’s product in part because of the company’s claims that the solid-strand bamboo flooring was “the world’s hardest floors,” and that it was “pet-friendly,” scratch- and high heel-resistant and guaranteed to last 50 years. According to the complaint, the plaintiff paid approximately $2,000 for the defendant’s flooring in April 2018. The following December, the case says, the plaintiff “noticed that his floors were cracked throughout” and displayed scratches.
After contacting the retailer from which he bought the defendant’s flooring, the plaintiff was told that his warranty was void because glue was used during the installation process, the case continues. According to the lawsuit, Cali Bamboo offered to provide the plaintiff with t-moldings to help repair some gaps in the flooring and cover the cost of an inspection. The case says the defendant agreed to refund the plaintiff in the event an inspector determined the floor cracking was due to a manufacturing defect, but the plaintiff chose not to proceed with an inspection.
Cali Bamboo allegedly concealed from proposed class members the nature of the apparent defects with its flooring. The lawsuit takes issue with the defendant’s prominent claims that the product will effectively “last a lifetime” and its focus on the durability of the flooring, as well as its 50-year warranty that says the product will not delaminate for decades under normal traffic and usage conditions. Seemingly absent from the defendant’s advertising, marketing and social media is any mention of moisture concerns. From the suit:
“By focusing on the strength of the Product and failing to disclose the other factors that cause the defects experienced by Plaintiff and Class Members, Defendant intended to mislead consumers into believing its representations that the Product ‘stands the test of time’ with a ‘surface finish that will not wear.’ These statements were and are false and misleading because Defendant deliberately failed to disclose that factors other than hardness will result in the Product being easily scratched, dented or separate.”
The lawsuit proposes to cover a class of all consumers in the United States who purchased for personal, family or household use Cali Bamboo bamboo flooring sold by Lowes from January 1, 2012 and the present or sold directly by Cali Bamboo between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2016.