The Home Depot is facing a consumer class action lawsuit alleging it misrepresents its lumber as “authentic” and “genuine” mahogany when it is reportedly another type of wood.
Plaintiff Clyde Golden brought this lawsuit in California federal court, saying he and other Home Depot consumers were duped into purchasing products that were not, in fact, authentic mahogany, but rather other “less desirable” species of wood, such as eucalyptus or swamp mahogany.
Genuine mahogany ranks among the finest cabinetry in the world and many consumers choose mahogany due to its beauty, durability, color, and ease with which woodworkers can use it. Knowing the species of wood is extremely important in determining a host of information relating to the quality of the product, such as its workability, durability, and resistance to rot. Woods such as swamp mahogany, red mahogany, or Santos mahogany do not hold the same value as true mahogany.
Golden details in the Home Depot fake mahogany class action lawsuit that on July 26, 2017, he purchased multiple 1-inch by 2-inch “mahogany” strips in a Home Depot brick and mortar store located in Bakersfield, California. At the time he purchased the lumber, he relied on the information provided by the employees at Home Depot that he was in fact buying authentic, genuine mahogany. However, these lumber strips were actually a species of eucalyptus, a lesser grade product.
“Home Depot deliberately fails to disclose the species of their ‘mahogany’ products because doing so would necessitate its admission that their ‘mahogany’ products are not actually genuine or authentic mahogany.”
The lawsuit goes on to note that even when a consumer goes to purchase a mahogany product from Home Depot’s online store, they are induced to believe the products is of the “finest grade,” “premium mahogany”. By failing to disclose the truth about their mahogany lumber products, Home Depot dupes consumers into buying lumber that does not have the same prestige as true mahogany.
“[Home Depot] sold customers the undisclosed or less desirable swamp mahogany, red mahogany, or Santos mahogany, which are not actually mahogany at all,” the complaint states.
It is important to note that Golden says that he continues to do business with Home Depot and would purchase wood products in the future if the wood is correctly labeled and priced according to its true nature.
Golden is seeking to represented a certified Class of California consumers who, since 2013, purchased products from Home Depot represented to be genuine mahogany and instead received false mahogany. Among restitution and equitable relief, the Home Depot fake mahogany class action is asking for an order enjoining Home Depot from continuing to violate California’s Unfair Competition Law and state consumer protection statutes.
Golden and the proposed state-wide Class are represented by Keith Altman, Solomon Radner, and Ari Kresch of Excolo Law PLLC.
The Home Depot Fake Mahogany Class Action Lawsuit is Clyde Golden, et al. v. Home Depot USA, Inc., Case No. 1:18-cv-00033-LJO-JLT in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, Bakersfield Division.