Our lawyers have filed a class action lawsuit against home improvement retailer Lowe’s and flooring manufacturer Armstrong World Industries. The companies are accused of selling laminate flooring that emits toxic levels of formaldehyde, a known carcinogen. The Plaintiffs, William Woodworth and Diane Pilkerton, researched various laminate flooring product options, ultimately choosing Armstrong’s product. Their label stated that the flooring satisfied California’s standards for formaldehyde content, when it actually did not.
A Dishonest Label
The couple bought about $2,000 worth of 12mm high-gloss Woodland Walnut laminate flooring made by Armstrong and sold by Lowe’s. The Plaintiffs made the purchase after they checked the product’s label. They wanted to make sure it complied with regulations set by the California Air Resources Board. Federal regulators have also adopted these standards.
Some time later, the Plaintiffs learned about formaldehyde contamination problems from other laminate wood products imported from China. They sent samples of the flooring to a well-respected lab for testing. The lab’s results showed it emitted formaldehyde gas well beyond the maximum allowable concentrations. The complaint states:
Rather than seek to effectively remedy the harm and the risks to its customers’ health and safety caused by its formaldehyde-laden flooring products. Armstrong has instead sought to cover up the dangers inherent in its products with misinformation and with a disingenuous public relations campaign that is designed to mislead its customers.
Like other Plaintiffs suing Lumber Liquidators over toxic flooring, Woodworth and Pilkerton accuse Armstrong of using questionable Chinese mills that use excessive amounts of formaldehyde in the manufacturing process to save time and money. The lawsuit alleges Armstrong offshored its manufacturing process to Chinese plants operated by individuals with no regard for the safety of American consumers. Lowe’s allegedly retailed the contaminated laminate knowing it came from China. In so doing, it appears both companies put the American consumer at risk.
Dangers of Formaldehyde
In addition to increasing the risk of cancer and leukemia, formaldehyde exposure can cause burning eyes, nose and throat irritation, coughing, headaches, dizziness, and nausea. Toxic flooring may be especially dangerous to toddlers and young children who play and crawl on the floor and have underdeveloped immune systems. Armstrong’s quality and compliance control are woefully inadequate. The company is trusting these Chinese manufacturers instead of scientifically testing the core of the flooring in reasonable intervals. This puts people at risk.
For more information about the class action against Lowe’s and Armstrong, contact Beasley Allen’s Consumer Fraud and Commercial Litigation section head Dee Miles or Clay Barnett at 800-898-2034. You may also contact us by using the web form below.