Lawyer Seeks MDL for Lumber Liquidators Formaldehyde Lawsuits

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A "60 Minutes" report on carcinogens present in flooring sold by Lumber Liquidators has led to class-action lawsuits around the country, with the possibility of multidistrict litigation recently being put on the table.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015 - A lawyer involved in the class-action lawsuits taking place in California related to toxic flooring sold by the large flooring company Lumber Liquidators has called for nationwide lawsuits to be consolidated into multidistrict litigation. The San Diego-based lawyer requested that the lawsuits be transferred to the federal court in the Northern District of California. There are currently 10 separate class action lawsuits around the country pending against the flooring company.

A $5 million class-action Lumber Liquidators lawsuit was filed in Florida in March 3 connected to the formaldehyde discovered in the company‘s flooring products. The claims in this lawsuit claimed that the products sold to plaintiffs were deceptively marketed and that the defendants were aware of the toxic nature of the floorboards before making them available for sale. Bill Nelson, a U.S. senator representing Florida, contacted federal investigators the day after the lawsuit was filed to alert them of the proceedings and look into the Delaware-based flooring company.

A third class-action lawsuit aimed at carcinogenic flooring sold by Lumber Liquidators was recently filed in Pennsylvania. The family named in the suit claimed that their 7-year-old daughter was showing symptoms consistent with prolonged exposure to formaldehyde. The flooring company came under fire recently after a "60 Minutes" report detailed issues with the manufacturing process that created the toxic chemicals present in the flooring.

The CBS news hour show "60 Minutes" featured a report two weeks ago that focused on the toxic nature of the Lumber Liquidators flooring, discovering high levels of formaldehyde in the flooring that has allegedly been sold to millions of customers nationwide. The "60 Minutes" report samples flooring sold in California, Florida, Illinois, Texas and Virginia. Though carcinogens were discovered, only one sample of the 31 tested was in breach of California emission standards.

The laminate flooring sold by Lumber Liquidators is manufactured in China. "60 Minutes" sent undercover reporters to three Chinese manufacturing plants where it was discovered that officials at the plants admittedly used false labeling to cover up the excessive amount of carcinogens in the company‘s products. Formaldehyde can lead to serious health problems for adults and especially children, including cancer. The carcinogen is found the glue applied as a laminate to the floor boards.

Recently, New York‘s Attorney General Eric Schneiderman was alerted to the impact of the formaldehyde rich flooring in his state and announced that his office is looking into the matter. Also in the Northeast, Connecticut‘s Attorney General George Jepsen was reported to have looked into Lumber Liquidators‘ flooring. Jepsen sent a letter to the president of Lumber Liquidators in hopes of discovering what future plans the company had in terms discontinuing the product and possibly reimbursing customers who purchased the flooring in question. It is likely that class-action lawsuits will soon appear in these states in addition to the three that have already entered into litigation against the flooring company.

Lumber Liquidators was already faced with lawsuits claiming their faulty products have led to the company‘s stock prices becoming affected before the recent claims. It remains to be seen if the lawsuits will eventually be consolidated, although the proposal seems promising as class-action suits continue to pop up all over the country after the attention given to the issue by "60 Minutes."