The National Law Journal (NLJ)and the American Association for Justice News (AAJ News) sought comment from Gibbs Law Group partner Eric Gibbs earlier this week about the Lumber Liquidators class action lawsuits being filed in federal courts nationwide.
Gibbs Law Group LLP has filed three consumer class action lawsuits against the company in connection to its allegedly toxic Chinese-made laminate wood flooring that may contain excess levels of formaldehyde, a chemical associated with respiratory ailments and the development of some cancers.
The firm represents Lumber Liquidators customers who allege that the company engaged in unfair business and sales practices and deceived consumers when it manufactured and sold flooring that failed to conform to environmental and health standards.
The California Air Resources Board has banned laminate wood products that emit more than 0.13 parts per million of formaldehyde gas since 2009, according to the NLJ. The NLJ also reports that the U.S. Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products Act of 2010 has similar restrictions of formaldehyde emissions.
Gibbs to AAJ: “The cases, as currently framed, allege and seek recovery for significant economic harm to customers.”
According to Gibbs, plaintiffs in the lawsuits filed by Gibbs Law Group are alleging economic harm and seeking compensatory damages from Lumber Liquidators after spending thousands of dollars purchasing and installing flooring that the company falsely represented as safe. Gibbs states that had consumers known the flooring was potentially toxic, they would never have purchased it in the first place.
Both the NLJ and the AAJ News indicate that state and federal agencies are investigating Lumber Liquidators, currently the largest seller of manufactured wood flooring in the United States. The NLJ reports that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced its investigation into the company on March 25, 2015. According to the AAJ News, the New York Attorney General and Florida Senator Bill Nelson have also launched investigations and inquiries on behalf of concerned consumers in their states.
Gibbs tells NLJ “tens of thousands” of people are concerned about the flooring in their homes
Gibbs told correspondents at the NLJ and the AAJ News this week that tens of thousands of people are concerned about the flooring in their homes, and that Lumber Liquidators consumers who have contacted Gibbs Law Group fear respiratory illnesses such as asthma could be related to the laminate wood. Gibbs believes the litigation will help determine whether or not these illnesses are truly caused by formaldehyde emissions from the Chinese-made flooring. If so, Gibbs states that plaintiffs may be able to seek damages for injuries suffered as a result of formaldehyde exposure.
In the meantime, the company has offered to provide free formaldehyde testing kits to all consumers upon request. According to Gibbs, though, many Lumber Liquidators customers who have contacted the firm report difficulty in obtaining the kits.
More than 75 lawsuits filed against Lumber Liquidators in 20 states
In the few weeks since 60 Minutes shocked the public with revelations about Lumber Liquidators Chinese factories, more than 75 lawsuits have been filed against the company in 20 states, according to the NLJ.
Plaintiffs’ law firms have filed motions with the Judicial Panel of Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) to consolidate increasing number of federal lawsuits against the company. The NLJ reports that Lumber Liquidators is seeking to consolidate the cases in its home state of Virginia, though plaintiffs are pushing for coordination in California, Ohio, South Carolina, Louisiana, and Florida.
San Francisco-based law firm Morrison & Foerster is representing Lumber Liquidators, who has thus far denied allegations of wrongdoing,
Eric Gibbs will serve as a panelist at a conference of the Plaintiffs’ Bar on the Lumber Liquidators case in May.
Want to stay up-to-date on the case? Are you a Lumber Liquidators customer concerned about your flooring?
Visit our website for continued updates as to the status of the Lumber Liquidators litigation in our firm, as well as the status of the coordination of federal lawsuits filed nationwide. If you’re a Lumber Liquidators customer with concerns about your flooring and potential exposure to formaldehyde, call (510) 350-9704 or fill out the form to connect with one of our consumer lawyers for a free, private consultation.