June 16, 2015 — Federal judges have centralized more than 100 lawsuits against Lumber Liquidators into the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
The order (PDF) was filed on June 12 and establishes a Multi-District Litigation (MDL No. 2627) in the state where Lumber Liquidators is headquartered.
Judges said that centralization in Virginia “will serve the convenience of the parties and witnesses and promote the just and efficient conduct of the litigation.” Furthermore, Lumber Liquidators is already facing a securities class action in the Eastern District of Virginia that was filed in November 2013 (Case No. 4:13-cv-157)
According to the judges, centralization into one federal court was appropriate because all of the lawsuits involve common questions of fact:
“Despite being marketed as compliant with regulations of the California Air Resources Board and other applicable regulations, plaintiffs allege that their laminate flooring emits illegal and unsafe levels of formaldehyde, a known carcinogen.”
Lumber Liquidates continues to insist that Chinese-made laminate flooring is safe, but they have stopped sales of the products. Fallout from a 60 Minutes report that aired in March sent the company’s stock into a nose-dive, tumbling 70% in four months.
Three top executives have left the company in the last couple months, including CEO Robert Lynch. The company is currently under criminal investigation by the Justice Department for possible violations of laws prohibiting sale of illegally-harvested wood. The EPA has also questioned the usefulness of do-it-yourself home air-quality testing kits Lumber Liquidators provided to customers who were concerned about formaldehyde levels in their floors.