A $36 million settlement over the safety and quality of Chinese-made flooring was recently agreed upon by Lumber Liquidators. Plaintiffs involved in the settlement allege that Lumber Liquidators sold laminate flooring made with large amounts of formaldehyde and also of extremely poor quality. Lumber Liquidators is a chain store that carries a wide range of flooring, including laminate, hardwood, and bamboo.
Lawsuits increased after 60 Minutes aired an episode in March 2015 that exposed laminate flooring made in China contained up to 6 - 7 times the amount of formaldehyde allowed by US law. Formaldehyde is known to cause cancer. Levels of high exposure can cause symptoms such as nausea, headaches, and irritation of the eyes and throat.
Plaintiffs also challenged the poor quality of the flooring, stating that Lumber Liquidators marketed the flooring as more lasting and reliable than was found once installed. It’s estimated that more than 700,000 consumers purchased the laminate flooring in question between January 2009 - March 2015.
The company announced in a press release (October 24, 2017) they had signed a
“memorandum of understanding” in regards to the formaldehyde and durability multidistrict litigations. The company also notes that this settlement does not mean they are accepting liability for the safety and quality of the flooring. They did discontinue sales of the flooring out of caution in May 2015.
There were 3 Class Action Lawsuits filed:
Lumber Liquidators Class Action Lawsuit - Ruiz v. Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc - Case No. 1:15-cv-02745
Lumber Liquidators Formaldehyde MDL - Lumber Liquidators Chinese-Manufactured Flooring Products Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation - MDL No. 2627
Lumber Liquidators Durability MDL - Lumber Liquidators Chinese-Manufactured Flooring Durability Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation - MDL No. 2743
Lumber Liquidators will pay up to $22 million in cash, and $14 million as store credit vouchers, to those who qualify according to the terms of the settlement.