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Class-Action Lawsuits Allege Lumber Liquidators Flooring Formaldehyde

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Los Angeles, CAIt’s bad enough to be facing a parade of lawsuits ranging from allegations of stock price affectations to defective products. However, when Anderson Cooper and the venerable 60 Minutes comes knocking at your door, you know you’re not going to have a good day. Such are the issues facing Lumber Liquidators, a US vendor of Chinese flooring products that are alleged to have not only failed California’s so-called CARB-2 safety standards, plaintiffs also claim levels of formaldehyde in the products exceed safe limits by serious margins.

The issue takes on greater significance given the adoption of the California Air Resource Board Phase 2 (CARB-2) emissions standard for formaldehyde in manufactured products as the US standard several years ago, and finally comes into effect nationwide later this year.

According to the report aired on 60 Minutes, glue used in the production of laminate flooring can sometimes contain formaldehyde. In low levels it’s not considered a problem, especially when the formaldehyde is encased in the product, preventing emissions from escaping into the air. The problem with Lumber Liquidators Flooring formaldehyde, according to the allegations, is that a greater level of formaldehyde is used in the production of products for Lumber Liquidators, in an effort to keep costs down.

Such a high level of formaldehyde, according to environmental experts interviewed by CBS News for 60 Minutes, can succeed in escaping from the product into the air, making homeowners ill.

That’s the allegation carried in a Lumber Liquidators Defective Flooring Class Action Lawsuit filed by John and Tracie-Linn Tyrrell in federal court in California March 5. According to the Richmond Times Dispatch (3/5/15), John Tyrrell began experiencing symptoms that include extreme shortness of breath, weakness, fatigue, and incessant coughing and sneezing shortly after he and his son-in-law installed the laminate flooring. “Despite repeated medical tests, his doctors have not been able to identify the cause of these symptoms,” the lawsuit claims.

The proposed class action seeks to represent any consumer who purchased Chinese flooring products from Lumber Liquidators in the last four years. They seek re-imbursement for the material and installation, as well as unspecified damages. The lawsuit also seeks to force Lumber Liquidators’s hand by having an injunction granted, preventing the company from selling the allegedly defective products.

“Based on lawsuits, articles and blog posts, [Lumber Liquidators] knew or should have known that its laminate wood flooring products were not compliant with [California emissions] standards,” the lawsuit said. “Despite this knowledge, defendant failed to reformulate its flooring products so that they are compliant or to disclose to consumers that these products emit unlawful levels of formaldehyde.”

Lumber Liquidators, according to the Dispatch report, is “currently reviewing the allegations contained in this lawsuit,” the company said. “It appears that many of the claims mimic contentions raised in a separate suit that was filed by a law firm that also represents a short-seller, which looks to benefit from decreases in our stock price, in another action against us. We believe in the safety of our products and intend to defend this suit vigorously.”

Out of 31 samples of Chinese flooring products imported by Lumber Liquidators independently tested by 60 Minutes at two certified testing labs, all but one sample presented with seriously high levels of formaldehyde that exceeded state and pending federal guidelines. Upon dispatching reporters to the manufacturing facility in China, 60 Minutes was told the facility had the capability of manufacturing to the CARB-2 standard, but switched to cheaper manufacturing methods that utilized higher levels of formaldehyde in the wood glue for products manufactured for Lumber Liquidators.

Officials of the manufacturing facility also admitted to 60 Minutes reporters using a hidden camera that products were improperly labeled as CARB-2 compliant, or so it is alleged.

In a filing, Lumber Liquidators said “we believe that ‘60 Minutes’ used an improper test method in its reporting that is not included in California regulations and does not measure a product according to how it is actually used by consumers. We stand by every single plank of wood and laminate we sell all around the country.”

The lawsuits alleging excessive Lumber Liquidators Flooring Formaldehyde continue to move forward…

The case is John Tyrrell et al v. Lumber Liquidators Inc., Case No. 2:2015cv01615, California Central District Court.

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READER COMMENTS

Posted by

on
Purchased Morning Star Bamboo from LL in Oct 2014. Does anyone have status on lawsuit or contact information? Thank you.

Posted by

on
Is engineered wood flooring also a problem with t oo much formaldihyde currently being sold ?

Posted by

on
I recently purchased a home with Mission Olive laminate wood floors and I just realized that the wood floors emit a level of dangerous formaldehyde when I went to Lumber Liquidator to purchase a few piece of the wood floor to replace the worn ones I currently have. Please advise how would I determine if the wood floors I have definitely emit formaldehyde harmful to our health. Thank you!

Posted by

on
We installed 3000 sq ft of the LL Morningstar Bamboo product and have had the same significant issues and the same reaction from LL. The shrinkage in boards is both width-wise and lengthwise. Unbelievably large gaps have opened up and the floor continues to get worse, with the top coat failing in places. What crap. We have to hope that the class action is successful.

Posted by

on
Just purchased Morning Star Bamboo. It was delivered today. I decided to 'google' and I find all of this out. Do I have to be worried about anything and can I get my money back. The product is still in boxes.

Posted by

on
I purchased the morning star carbonized bamboo 1/2 x 5 inch click lock in February of 2015, stored it in the house to acclimate for 4 weeks during remodeling. I had it professionally installed in April of 2015. After a couple months it started cupping and shrinking leaving some gaps the size of a pencil lead between the board ends. Approximately 80% of the rest of the 680 sq feet that was installed has began to cup. I talked to my local LL and they referred me to file a complaint. I did file one and sent pics of my issues. I got a phone call from corporate warranty today basically telling me that it was a "site issue" and ultimatel my fault. They said I should have had the moisture content in my concrete floor checked prior to installation. I tried to tell them that I had laminate flooring for 15 years with no issues and I followed the LL managers instructions to the T and purchased everything that he recommended to do the job and he didn't tell me about the moisture check. I think that is a scapegoat excuse. Not a satisfied LL customer.

Posted by

on
I purchased laminated flooring from Lumber Liquidator on 11/28/2009. Called Lumber Liquidator Customer Care Ofc today and was told that only flooring for 2011 - 2015 was an issue. Can you confirm that I WAS GIVEN THE CORRECT INFORMATION?

Posted by

on
My husband and I purchased Morning star Bamboo from LL.
Feb 2016, installed it in March 2016, and within 2 days it started buckling, cupping, shrinking, splintering, creping...its absolutely hideous!
We are ripping it up this week. LL of course is blaming everything except their product. To make matters worse, they are still selling it to unsuspecting customers. I want to see their head on a platter!!! My Christian values prevent me from stating what I really feel......so in that stead....I'll say this !!@@$$%**!!
Thank you...now I feel better

Posted by

on
How do I find out if my flooring is one of the affected ones, and how can I join the class action? Thank you

Posted by

on
I recently purchased Morning Star bamboo wood flooring from Lumber Liquidators. The manager said the only product with formaldehyde issues is the laminate flooring, not my purchase of the wood. And they haven't sold that product since May 2015. Lumber Liquidators advised us to open the boxes to allow the product to breathe, to help acclimate to the environment. Since then I have been experiencing dizziness. How can I get this flooring tested for levels of formaldehyde before I install?

Posted by

on
How do I get my floors tested? We installed a few months ago and have had fume issues and health problems from I believe the wood bamboo floors.

Posted by

on
We purchase the V groove pre glue foam St.James collection-blackburg Barn Board on Feb 2012. with compliant for formaidehyde.I have a lot chronic conditions due to putting in the floors.lung and breathing problems and nose irritation.Hives and itchy watery eyes.plus unexplain pain.& etc

Posted by

on
Purchased bamboo floor within six months floor gaping and splintering lum blaming on humidity

Posted by

on
I have MorningStar bamboo installed in much of my and would like to know the most effective ways to test for VOCs. Can you please send more information.

Posted by

on
We installed Morning Star bamboo flooring a month ago. The floor has already lifted causing us to have to pull up and relay half of the floor. I have been suffering from severe itchy watery eyes for the past month, while my husband has been complaining of nose irritation. Has there been any findings or recalls with Morning Star bamboo flooring? The manufacturer date is 9/2015.

Posted by

on
We installed hardwoods into our complete 2700 sq ft home in 2009. We purchased soldid Golden Teak hardwoods made in China from Lumbar Liquidators. Since this time my twin daughters have had severe lung diseases and one of them had a lung biopsy to detect this. We have been to every Dr. imaginable and they are still having significant lung issues. I was not aware of this problem until recently and I would love advise as to how I should get my floors tested and if there air problems as a result, what should I do about it.

Posted by

on
What is the bad stuff or is it all bad?

Posted by

on
We bought Schon Engineered Floors from Lumber Liquidators about 5 years ago. How do we get them tested and where can we get a list of the manufactures that are involved in these floors?

Posted by

on
I need a local forensic expert for able to testify based on lab results in formaldehyde floor litigation in Los Angeles

Posted by

on
1300 sq. ft of laminated flooring purchased 2 yrs ago. Health risk, value of home decreases. Who would buy this house with laminate flooring from lumber liquidator. Need to know where I can join a class action lawsuit in Arizona.

Posted by

on
I have laminate floors in all the bedrooms and top floor in my house. How do I test for formaldehyde toxicity & join a class action suit?

Posted by

on
Is there a lawsuit for Morning Star Bamboo. We were told instore that it was manufactured in the US under strict standards. After getting sick the day it was installed we had it tested. Formaldehyde in the air came up high.

Posted by

on
I have America's Mission Olive Dream Home installed about two years ago. Used this product instead of carpet purposefully to ready my home for sale (next year). Now I wonder how I will every sell my house with this flooring installed. And I can't imagine the expense of having it removed and replaced. If we ever seen any compensation from LL it will probably be years in the making and in the meantime we suffer the consequences. Not sure how to go about joining lawsuit?? Sent in LL test provided about two weeks ago. Thinking about having independent testing done also. If others have had independent testing, who did they use?

Posted by

on
I have been experiencing problems with Hives since I put this flooring down last August 2015 from one end of my home to another. Have not been able to find out why. Also fatigue and sneezing since then. Just became aware of this story when a friend noticed a box of Lumber Liquidators flooring and asked if I had seen the story on this and if my flooring had been tested. How do I go about getting this flooring tested and if there is anything else I can do to follow up?

Posted by

on
We have the 12mm Brazilian koa. What can we do to replace it or at least have it tested? Please let me know.

Posted by

on
We purchased our flooring in 2009,2011 an 2014.I need to know how to have our floors tested.My husband has breathing problems an need to know if it is from our floors.Thank you.

Posted by

on
I live in California and recently had Dream Homes Kensington Manor's Warm Spring Chestnut laminiate floors installed throughout my house. I'm very concern about the levels of formeldhyde my family and pets are being exposerd to. How would I go about getting the floors tested? Thank you in advance for your help and direction.

Posted by

on
We have the brand and colors they say has high levels. My granddaughter who was raised since birth has been raised in this house. And is constantly having breathing issues. I would like to know how to have the flooring tested and what we should do next.

Posted by

on
We have morning star bamboo flooring and have had it for 6 months. It was made in china I have the boxes still. My 3 year old has constantly been sick coughing congestion eye irritation and me and my husband similar symptoms but not as severe. How do I get my flooring tested or find out if it is one of the flooring that was tested by 60 minutes?

Posted by

on
I have aluminum floor in the house.how can I get it tested? thanx. for your help.

Posted by

on
Hi I recently had laminate wood flooring put in in march 2015 Since then my 4 year old son has been sick with severe eye irritation Respiratory problems, itching all over body, coughing, and nasal conjestion. Nothing is helping him relieve the symptoms. Please contact me back. Thank you

Posted by

on
I purchased in December 2014 and would like more information on how to get floor tested.

Posted by

on
We put floors down in feb from liq lum..what do we need to do

Posted by

on
Are the formaldehyde and other toxic substances restricted only to "laminate" type flooring or is it in Lumber Liquidator's other flooring products, (i.e., solid oak, bamboo, maple, hardwood)?

Posted by

on
After I installed the 12mm Dream Home Vinters Reserve into my home. I broke out in rash on my right foot not knowing, seen my doctor whom called it exima. Unfortunately the rash never went away and got worse it spread around my legs, lower back, upper back. Burned and itched like crazy. Almost missed my daughters birth last April because of the itching. I've been seen by four Doctors, Two dermatologists. Finally after almost two years of dealing with the rash, I had a allergy test performed. Interesting test results I'm allergic to formaldehyde. Still continue to have issues with itching rash now.

Posted by

on
We was about ready to buy flooring from glad I seen the lawsuit. I did buy samples from them. I want my 20 bucks back.

Posted by

on
can you send list of products I have some unopened boxes of peel and stick and I am now scare that it may be bad too.

Posted by

on
I had laminated flooring installed from Lumber Liquidator and I would like to have my floor tested. My son has been sickly for the last 4 years. Please contact me.

posted by
Amelia P.

Posted by

on
I purchased
12 mm Dream Home St. James Vintner’s Reserve Laminate Flooring about four years ago. Since then, I believe my wife has developed asthma as a result of this flooring blunder. We thought it was a kitten we adopted when we finally moved into our new home however after some investigation and doctor visits we ruled out our kitten as the problem. We can we do? I am now afraid for the safety of my wife and our two cats now!

Posted by

on
I would love to know the effects on the flooring installers and the dust particles that may have enter our lungs?

Posted by

on
Is there a list of flooring that may contain formaldehyde or an item # so I can check to see if my floor has these issues. Dawn

Posted by

on
I am interested in having my laminate flooring tested, to see if there is a health problem.

Posted by

on
How can I test it?

Posted by

on
does this effect all lumber liquidators, across the us? how do i file a suit in maryland and pennsylvania. I have installed laminate in both our houses.

Posted by

on
How do I find out if my flooring is one of the affected ones, and how to I join the class action ?

Posted by

on
Same here, our newly refurnished apartment complex has the same issue with all apartments, what do i do, just die?

Posted by

on
I used to work for Lumber Liquidators handling these products everyday. Should I be concerned about my health?

Posted by

on
I bought laminate four years ago but have since sold my home. Do I have any interest in the clas action lawsuit?

Posted by

on
please call me in regards to a laminate floor I have in my kitchen.

Posted by

on
I recently moved office locations, which required new flooring to be installed as well as other reconstruction. In this process, the landlord installed laminate flooring purchased from lumber liquidators. Since the move, I have noticed an occasional dry cough. How do I determine if it is from the flooring or some other cause? Further, how do I handle this with my landlord?

Posted by

on
Webought and had woodflooring for four roomssin our home. How do we determine if the products used are toxic. Both my husband and myself have experienced unuusal illness in the past years.

Posted by

on
how do I file for the class action suite against Lumber Liquidators in Charleston, SC

Posted by

on
Dear sirs and ms. I am not sure I have the poison flooring, but it is composite and it is falling to pieces. The flooring got wet from leaks that were present the first time it rained after we bought a used mobile home. It became spongy. Probably releasing chemicals. I am sure these people bought the cheapest flooring in the world. how in the world can I afford to get it tested.NOT!!!! Please respond ASAP. wife HAS BEEN EXPERCING BREATHING PROBLEMS SINCE PURCHASE. THANKS

Posted by

on
do I have to spend more money having the flooring sent to a testing lab?

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