April 20, 2015 — A lawsuit is raising questions about the validity of the home-testing kits that were provided by Lumber Liquidators to check formaldehyde emissions from their flooring.
The lawsuit (PDF) was filed on April 16 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California on behalf of Craig Lyznick, Shari Collins, and Patricia Cottington, who purchased flooring from Lumber Liquidators and requested the kits.
Plaintiffs say the home-test kit does not come from an “independent” lab. Furthermore, that lab is only accredited to check for microorganisms — not formaldehyde.
Lumber Liquidators called the lawsuit “entirely without merit,” and said they hired properly-accredited laboratories to conduct the testing.
The New York Times talked to an attorney for plaintiffs, who said:
“The analogy is you have cancer, well, we’re going to set you up with a doctor, but they don’t tell you the doctor’s a chiropractor. Rather than giving the customers all of the facts, we allege that this is a campaign or a scheme to try and lull the customers into a false sense of security that the laminate floors are safe.”
Whitney Tilson, a high-profile investor who is short-selling Lumber Liquidator’s stock, called the testing a “sham” and said the company needs to immediately stop its current testing program and instead offer customers a “genuinely professional one that would give homeowners information they could rely upon.”
Lumber Liquidators has already provided about 10,000 customers with the kits. The problem is that the kits only test formaldehyde levels in the air four feet above the flooring — not in the flooring itself. Children and pets are also exposed much closer to the flooring.