March 16, 2015 — An attorney in California has asked a panel of federal judges to consolidate 10 class action lawsuits against Lumber Liquidators into a Multi-District Litigation (MDL) in one federal court, under one judge.
Meanwhile, lawsuits and class actions continue to be filed. Last week, a law firm in Florida filed a federal lawsuit seeking class action status on behalf of a couple from Orlando, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Facing sharp criticism after a 60 Minutes investigation aired on March 1, Lumber Liquidators is fighting allegations that they are selling Chinese laminate wood flooring that does not meet formaldehyde emissions limits set by the California Air Resources Board (CARB), but is marked as compliant.
The testing method used by 60 Minutes was “deconstructive testing,” which CARB calls an approved method of testing, but does not require for compliance purposes.
Formaldehyde is a cancer-causing ingredient used in glues and resins that bind particles of sawdust to create the fiberboard core of the laminated wood product.
The “deconstructive” test takes a finished product, rips off the laminated surface, sands the fiberboard, and tests emissions.
Lumber Liquidators says this test isn’t proper and does not accurately reflect real-world emissions, which are understandably lower when the formaldehyde gas is sealed into the board under a layer of laminate. Formaldehyde gas still escapes from the board over time, but at a much slower rate.
Last week, CEO Rob Lynch said Lumber Liquidators will pay for indoor air quality test kits for qualifying customers who are concerned. However, they are not paying for “deconstructive” tests on the boards.