June 18, 2018

A Virginia federal judge overseeing multidistrict litigation involving Lumber Liquidators’ alleged false statements that its laminate wood flooring complied with California Air Resource Board’s formaldehyde emissions limits preliminarily approved a $36 million agreement to end the litigation Friday.

U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Trenga preliminarily OK'd the settlement that would end allegations the hardwood flooring exceeded California’s approved level of formaldehyde emissions as well as claims the flooring wasn’t durable. Lumber Liquidators agreed to pay $22 million in cash and $14 million in vouchers to members of two settlement classes, according to court documents.

Numerous proposed class actions were filed starting March 3, 2015, shortly after “60 Minutes” aired an investigation that found Lumber Liquidators misrepresented that its Chinese-made laminate flooring complied with Golden State formaldehyde emissions limits, according to court documents.

On average, the level of formaldehyde in the company’s flooring ranged from at least six times the state standard, with some samples nearly as high as 20 times the standard, the investigation found. In June of that year, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation consolidated the formaldehyde emissions cases.

Other consumers who bought the flooring said it scratched, chipped, warped and stained. These consumers also filed proposed class actions, which were consolidated in October 2016, according to court documents.

The plaintiffs are represented by Steven J. Toll of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, Steve W. Berman of Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, Niall McCarthy of Cotchett Pitre & McCarthy LLP, Alexander Robertson IV of Robertson & Associates LLP, Daniel K. Bryson of Whitfield Bryson & Mason LLP and Robert R. Ahdoot of Ahdoot & Wolfson PC.

The complete article can be accessed here.