A proposed class action claims Lumber Liquidators, Inc. has continued to sell to unsuspecting consumers the same allegedly defective flooring that was the subject of a class action settlement in late 2019.
According to the case, Lumber Liquidators has misrepresented the quality and durability of its Morning Star Strand Bamboo flooring while failing to disclose to buyers that the product is subject to “premature cracking, splitting, warping, and shrinking” well before the end of its marketed useful life. Moreover, while Lumber Liquidators quells consumers’ concerns by representing that the Morning Star product has a 50-year warranty, the warranty “does not in actuality cover the types of damages alleged herein,” the lawsuit claims.
The case alleges that while Lumber Liquidators frequently places the blame for its product’s failures on consumers and denies their warranty claims due to purported outside factors, such as improper installation and excessive moisture in a home, the flooring’s propensity to cup, warp, buckle, splinter and crack is, in reality, caused by inherent defects in the manufacturing process. According to the suit, Lumber Liquidators’ Morning Star Strand Bamboo flooring may have such an elevated moisture content prior to installation that any amount of acclimatizing will not stop it from degrading well before its warranty runs out.
“These failures are common in the Product regardless of when, where, or how it is installed,” the complaint attests.
The plaintiffs, a married couple from Arkansas, claim to have purchased Lumber Liquidators’ Morning Star Strand Bamboo flooring in 2019 for a renovation project on a home they intended to sell “immediately upon completion” of the remodeling. Per the case, Lumber Liquidators represented to the couple that the Morning Star product was “indestructible” and would not dent. The plaintiffs allege that they purchased the product based on the defendant’s representations and the 50-year warranty, though the suit argues that the sales associate concealed from the couple that the warranty was non-transferrable despite knowing they intended to sell their home.
Though the plaintiffs “carefully complied” with the defendant’s installation instructions, they began noticing within weeks of installation that the flooring had begun to warp and “developed visible cupping along each board,” as the following pictures purport to show:
The complaint then details the plaintiffs’ allegedly numerous attempts to contact Lumber Liquidators and have the product replaced under warranty. The company ultimately denied the plaintiffs’ warranty claim due to “ambient moisture” in the home “despite the fact that no inspection had ever been conducted to come to such conclusion,” the lawsuit alleges.
Per the case, the plaintiffs appealed the decision and then filed a complaint with the Arkansas Attorney General due to Lumber Liquidators’ “unresponsiveness.” While waiting for Lumber Liquidators to return their multiple calls, the plaintiffs were advised by the Attorney General’s office to uninstall the product after taking pictures, the suit relays. In late December 2020, however, the defendant’s senior escalation complaint and response specialist allegedly told the plaintiffs that because they had removed the flooring, Lumber Liquidators could not conduct an inspection and thus denied their claim.
Per the case, thousands of consumers have, like the plaintiffs, been misled by Lumber Liquidators’ “false and misleading” advertising claims regarding its Morning Star Strand Bamboo flooring. The lawsuit alleges the company has long been aware of the defective nature of its products due to numerous consumer complaints. Moreover, a class action lawsuit filed in 2014 similarly claimed the company’s Morning Star flooring product was defective. Throughout the course of the litigation and even after settling the case for $30 million, Lumber Liquidators continued to falsely advertise and sell the allegedly defective flooring, the suit says.
While the previous class action covered those who purchased the product between January 1, 2012 and March 15, 2019, the plaintiffs look to represent anyone in the U.S. (and a separate class of Arkansas residents) who purchased Lumber Liquidators’ Morning Star Strand Bamboo flooring for personal, family or household use anytime since March 16, 2019.
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