As of July 15, 2015, the number of lawsuits consolidated for pretrial proceedings has increased to 135, from only 10 on June 15, 2015. Lawsuits are consolidated for pretrial proceedings when there are similar questions of fact. This helps to avoid duplication of efforts and saves the courts time and resources. The Lumber Liquidators lawsuits are consolidated in MDL 2627 before US District Judge Anthony J Trenga (In Re: Lumber Liquidators Chinese-Manufactured Flooring Products Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation).
Lawsuits were filed after a report on 60 Minutes (3/1/15) indicated certain laminate flooring that was made in China contained unacceptably high levels of formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is a carcinogen linked to cancer and respiratory problems. According to a study conducted by 60 Minutes, 30 of 31 flooring samples from Lumber Liquidators did not meet formaldehyde emissions standards.
Thousands of people reportedly have Lumber Liquidators flooring in their homes. Lawsuits allege some homeowners have suffered respiratory problems and weakness after installing the company’s laminate flooring. Lumber Liquidators has also reportedly been accused of false advertising and selling products with components that come from endangered habitats.
Lumber Liquidators said it stands behind its products and has called into question the testing procedures used to obtain the formaldehyde data used in the 60 Minutes report. According to The Motley Fool (7/2/15), the Consumer Product Safety Commission will conduct real-world testing of the laminate flooring to determine actual risks to consumers.
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Lumber Liquidators has also faced an investigation from the US Department of Justice over its alleged use of wood that was illegally logged from the Russian Far East, in violation of the Lacey Act. The Lacey Act prohibits the import of products from woods that were illegally logged.
Meanwhile, lawsuits continue to be added to the MDL for pretrial proceedings.