Lumber Liquidators is facing a blitz of lawsuits related to accusations that some of the company’s laminated flooring contains unsafe quantities of formaldehyde.
CBS reported March 1 that the flooring company sold laminate flooring with higher levels of formaldehyde than permitted by California’s health and safety standards. A multi-agency federal investigation of the company is underway.
Lawsuits claim that the company’s Chinese-made flooring has caused health problems, including asthma, in consumers. One suit argues that testing kits Lumber Liquidators offered to customers to verify the safety of their flooring don’t comply with California standards, either.
At least 10 of the Lumber Liquidators lawsuits, filed in five different states, are under consideration for transfer to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
Lumber Liquidators reported the following in a first-quarter business update:
Customer care has been the Company’s primary focus in March 2015. To reassure its customers, the Company implemented an air quality testing program at no cost to the customer. As part of that program, through the end of the first quarter of 2015, approximately 10,000 of the Company’s customers have requested in-home air quality test kits. The test kit is sent directly to the customer by an independent testing organization.
The federal investigation isn’t Lumber Liquidators’ first in recent years. In 2013, special agents from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations unit, together with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Justice Department, raided the company’s Toano, Virginia, headquarters and another location.
Lumber Liquidators could still face criminal charges in that case, which involved investigations into whether the company bought wood from protected forests.